An old primary school science block that was once occupied by nuns is envisaged to become a distillery.
Rutherglen's Mount Carmel Convent is getting a new lease on life after being purchased last year by Melbourne business partners and builders of 15 years Ben Kennedy and Michael Gyucha.
The pair have been working with Habitat Planning to lodge an application to Indigo Shire for a function centre, restaurant and microbrewery.
With 21 levels of support, council accepted the planning permit for the heritage building on the corner of High and Culbertson Streets.
Once an appeal period comes to an end, major planning work can begin.
Mr Kennedy and his team have been cleaning up and repainting the building, which was opened in 1928 by the Presentation Sisters.
"I come up here on holidays with the family, and came across it," he said.
"It had sold, but we bought it when it came back on the market.
"We had to put in new electricity and plumbing.
"A lot of ceilings had fallen down with water leaks, but it's coming along really well."
There are initial plans to run an airbnb upstairs, where there are 11 rooms.
Mr Kennedy said they would then move to create a distillery in a building separate to the main convent, with approval of a subdivision also opening up the option of new residential housing down the track.
"We'll use the old science block outside for the distillery, and we have a commercial kitchen nominated for part of the building," he said.
"Over the past 12 months we had a dedicated team of tradesmen working to restore it back to its original state, and in doing so hope Mount Carmel can become an asset to the Rutherglen community."
In the 1970s, the Presentation Sisters' nuns were redeployed and the community worked to have the pupils of St Mary's Primary School move in.
The former convent has been vacant since the new primary school was built nearby.
"Our aim would be to create a space that can be utilised by the local community and tourists," Mr Kennedy said.
"The building contains a number of large multi-purpose spaces that can cater and accommodate for a wide variety of needs, the possibilities far-reaching.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"Since purchasing the property, we have had tremendous support from the local community, particularly Destination Rutherglen.
"We have been humbled by the generosity of the many local residents from the township of Rutherglen who have shared their experiences of life at the convent as either a student, teacher or nun.
"These stories have helped us to bring this beautiful building back to life."