Plaster Fun House to pop up at Stockland Wendouree for holidays

BALLARAT’S Plaster Fun House is set to pop up from the ashes.

The long standing Ballarat business in Grenville Street has been out of action since it was gutted by fire in February, but owner Brad Billings said the play centre would make a temporary return for the Easter school holidays.

From Monday, a pop-up Plaster Fun House catering for 30 people at a time will open daily at Stockland Wendouree.

Mr Billings said he was continuing to rebuild the business after fire gutted the central business district building that housed it on February 6.

“Normally our school holidays at the shop were extremely busy,” he said.

“(Stockland Wendouree) were really receptive. It’ll be similar to what we used to do in the store. We’ll provide people with paints, smocks, water pots and brushes and at the end we paint glaze and glitter on for them.”

He said about 20 casual staff, many who were university and secondary school students, had lost their jobs after the fire forced the centre’s closure.

But many would be returning to work for the first time at the Stockland Wendouree pop-up shop, Mr Billings said.

“It’s been an extremely busy few weeks trying to get everything together,” he said.

“We’re just hoping to get through these holidays due to the low insurance pay out.”

Mr Billings said while any long-term plans for the future of the retail business were still up in the air, he hoped to set up a showroom at Delacombe after the school holidays.

He said the production factory was also back up and running, allowing them to produce plaster items.

Mr Billings said painting plasters was a relaxing pastime for families and the finished products made great keepsakes.

“We know our plasters have sat in some people’s houses for 20 years plus,” he said.

If the Stockland Wendouree project is successful, Mr Billings said it could lead to other pop-up shops in the future.

“The more it’s supported, the more likely it’ll reappear over other school holidays,” he said.

It will operate 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday next week and 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday in the second week of school holidays.