A GROUP of businesses and residents want to foster a “Fremantle Industrial Arts Quarter” in the Knutsford precinct.
A community workshop on the future of the old industrial area will be held on Monday February 11, where the group will push their vision of a mini Left Bank.
Spearheading the renaissance is Robby Lang, who owns the Fremantle Fibonacci Centre, an arts hub and design incubator, on Blinco Street.
He says the Knutsford precinct is a “hidden gem” and is the perfect spot for arts, film and design start-ups.
“Not many people know that Australia’s foremost reality documentary producers, Prospero Productions, have their headquarters here [the precinct], producing shows such as Outback Truckers and Australian Opal Hunters.
“They have their own submarine which can dive to 200m, which they recently used to film on Ningaloo Reef, and the wreck of the Australian Navy ship, The Swan.
“This footage was used to create a Virtual Reality tour of the reef, at the Fremantle Maritime Museum. Prospero employs more than 50 crew, on and off, for its productions.
“This area is a hidden gem and a fascinating area to visit, with many, many fresh and innovative business and startup initiatives going on.”
Mr Lang says several organisations are onboard with the arts quarter vision, including Blazing Swan, EHDO Architects and Penny Lanes Music Workshop, and they have the support of Curtin University, Fremantle council and Landcorp.
The old Knutsford industrial area is in a transitional phase after it was rezoned and Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt is keen to transform it into a high-density and sustainable precinct.
Mr Lang says branding the area bounded by Blinco, Amherst, Stack and Montreal Streets, “The Fremantle Industrial Arts Quarter”, would resonate with people.
“The concept of branding this area has long been a particular passion of mine, personally, as I believe it has so much tourist and local interest potential,” he says.
“It is one of the most fascinating areas in the metro area of Perth, and so few locals are even aware of it. The aim of the group is to give a voice and an identity to the unique old industrial area.”
The Knutsford community workshop will be held from 4pm-6.30pm at Stackwood, on the corner of Stack and Wood Streets, in Fremantle on February 11, RSVP before February 8 at eventbrite.com.au
by STEPHEN POLLOCK