AN historic Cardigan Village pub could be set for a new lease on life after being snapped up at auction by a Ballarat businessman.
Robert Ling, a civil engineer who has lived in Ballarat since 2010, purchased the Remembrance Drive property after being the only bidder on the 159-year-old hotel and adjoining buildings.
The only bid of $240,000 was initially passed in before owners and Mr Ling privately agreed on an undisclosed figure believed to be less than $300,000.
The price sees Mr Ling become the owner of three buildings, including the historic pub, a small residence and a former drive-through building, plus two acres of land.
He said he saw the purchase as a passion project and he was looking forward to working with the Cardigan Village community about what they wished to see at the site.
The property is subject to a heritage overlay which means any changes will need to pass through the City of Ballarat Council.
"Firstly, I'll look to restore the property and then whether we have any additions or not will depend on the council requirements," Mr Ling said.
"I plan to consult the community about what they would like here, so we'll bring all that together and see what we come up with.
"The fact it was established in 1860, it goes back a long time so I think there's some heritage value in it. This is a personal project for me."
Auctioneer Ross Titheridge said there had been a lot of interest prior to the auction, but admitted to some surprise at only the one bid.
"We would have preferred more bidders, we certainly had the inquiry, but it doesn't always equate to the interest on the day," he said.
"They are selling half acre to two acre blocks between $185,000 to $265,000, so you could say it's almost gone at land value.
"It's great news for the locals that he's looking to bring it back up, it's great because it really is the only commercial site in this area."
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