ONE of Creswick’s most recognisable and prominent buildings is falling into a state of disrepair.
And the residents of the town say nothing is being done about it.
The British Hotel has not opened its doors for five years now and the Creswick locals have taken it upon themselves to lead the push for the historic building to be restored to its former glory.
Currently, the windows are boarded up, the external facade is showing years of neglect and the interior of the building is said to have been trashed by squatters.
Business and Tourism Creswick circulated a petition calling for the Hepburn Shire Council to encourage the owners to do something about the building.
It attracted 268 signatures and was handed to the council yesterday, calling for swift action to be taken.
However, the owners remain unknown to the residents and the council.
It is believed the owners are a consortium of businessmen who invest in a range of similar properties.
Real estate agent Damian Caine said the investors were from Victoria but they always wished to remain anonymous.
Larry Monk and Margaret Giles from Business and Tourism are leading the charge to see the building become something for the people of Creswick to be proud of again.
“It’s one of the first buildings you see on the main street and it is falling into disrepair. It’s a bit embarrassing and we’ve had enough,” said Ms Giles, secretary of the committee.
“It was a nice old pub. Now it just impacts on our streetscape.”
The heritage-listed building used to be one of three pubs in Creswick, alongside the Farmers Arms and the American. It once hosted the town’s only TAB but when the betting licence was revoked in 2007, it closed down soon after.
“It is such an iconic part of town, it is frustrating to see this happening to it,” committee president Mr Monk said.
Creswick ward councillor Janine Booth said the council shared the residents’ point of view and had met the real estate agent to express its concern.
The property remains for lease and although Mr Caine said there had been some interest from potential tenants, none had been able to prove they would make the establishment viable.
“There are a lot of people who think they can run a pub, but there is a lot more to it than most people think,” he said.