THE community is rallying to save Weymouth's iconic Brewer's Quay from dereliction after the owners of the building fell into administration.

As reported, the former Victorian brewery in Hope Square went up for sale last week after development company Versant was placed into receivership.

Weymouth Civic Society said it is "ghastly" to watch the building rot away, and has backed a campaign to bring it back into mixed use for the benefit of the community.

Two 'Save Brewers Quay' groups have been set up with the shared objective of raising funds and rallying public support.

Organiser Paul Sherry said he is "disgusted" to see the building fall into disrepair - and has already received a phenomenal response and offers of financial backing.

He said: "I grew up in Weymouth and love that area - I want to see the building renovated and being put back to a community asset - Hope Square has so much history and we should be making the most of it.

"To put it in private hands where it's been abused and neglected is outrageous.

"I'd love to see a mixed use for the building with tourist attractions on the bottom part of the building and holiday lets or apartments on the top."

Meanwhile resident Jane Collison has also started a crowdfunding campaign to save Brewer's Quay.

She said: "I think it's an iconic part of the harbour scenery - I hate seeing it falling apart. There's a lot of public interest in making this building into a community asset rather than an eyesore.

"There are two car parks and two buildings involved. Only part of the building is protected by listing. My vision is that part of it could be made into luxury warehouse flats and sold to fund the repairs.

"On the ground floor, it would be great to re-open bars, cafes, restaurant use and retail. In between, I'd love to see space for artists - a gallery, studios for rent. We have so much talent locally and no focus for it."

Dr Keith Holdaway, chairman of Weymouth Civic Society, said: "It is ghastly having to watch an old friend rot away in front of your eyes."

He added: "The whole site creates a unique look and feel in the Square and is the first thing seen by thousands of cruise ship visitors.

"Serious schemes have been worked up to use the site for the community. To house Weymouth Museum - seemingly abandoned by Dorset Council - to exhibit the brewery equipment, and to house a field study centre in the only town on the Jurassic Coast accessible by rail.

"Part of the building might need to be given over to flats (possibly); a restaurant and a bar (certainly) - to make the project feasible and the Civic Society supports this."

To find out more about the community campaigns, find 'Save Brewers Quay (Public Group)' and 'Save Brewers Quay' on Facebook.