Berrima Gaol – BRA vison for adaptively re-purposing different parts of the site

The Berrima Residents Association presents its detailed concept for adaptively re-purposing different parts of the Gaol as a vibrant and sustainable community asset that protects the site and creates jobs for the Southern Highlands.



A state-of-the-art museum and historical experience, with timed tours (Hangman’s walk, gallows, prison cells, graffiti, inmates, warders, Indigenous incarceration, WW1 German Internees; exhibition spaces, Gift Shop, and merchandising.

Beechworth Gaol earns $7m/yr from Gaol tours.


Re-purposed CIS building trading as Berrima School of Arts) for Small Conference Centre (e.g., Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival); Exhibition space (e.g., potential partnership with Carriageworks, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia and art galleries); Boutique Performance Space: music, theatre, dance; U3A venue; Berrima Village Community Hall; emergency Refuge/Village Evacuation space. Venue hire during office hours and all evenings.





GAOL COURTYARD that provides an outdoor venue outdoor cultural events per year e.g., Christmas Carols, art exhibitions, cultural performances: music ensembles, operatic concerts.

Daytime events but restricted to 5/6 evening events per year to minimise adverse impact (noise) on residential amenity. Modelled on successful weekend event staged by SH Rotary in 2015 called Berrima GaolBreak– Gaol tours, Opera performance; 6,000 visitors. $90k net profit.



Weekend Farmers Market, Community Garden; Specialist produce gardens; bush tucker, culinary, medicinal plants; Open air venue for single use special events – pop up marquees.




COMMUNITY and SOCIAL ENTERPRISE premises that stimulate collaborative social programs, youth entrepreneurship, education and training, capacity building (e.g., modelled on the success of Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship based at Beechworth Gaol) and locally based programs in the Highlands.




LEASING RE-PURPOSED CELLS AND SPACES as short-term affordable accommodation: 20 units from 34 re-purposed cells; Leased accommodation – Oberon and Governor’s House; Re-purposed kitchen – Cooking School and educational spaces; Cafe/restaurant, Catering, Micro-brewery; Retail outlets – up to 26 re-purposed cells; Artisan studios/Specialist retail, showcasing local food and wine and Site Venue Hire of filming and photography. Co-working spaces.


PARKING. Re-develop existing tennis court and other spaces for on-site bus and car parking for up to 60 vehicles.


BERRIMA VILLAGE CONNECTION Interface with Berrima Village using the terraces and rose gardens outside the gaol walls for occasional small events. Ticketing and information facilities.


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