$8.1 million boost for South Australian heritage

South Australia’s heritage will get an $8.1 million boost in the Marshall Liberal Government’s 2021-22 State Budget to better preserve and activate historical sites, boost the economy and create jobs.

Ayers House on North Terrace will have a $6.6 million upgrade to restore and revitalise one of South Australia’s best-known historic buildings.

As well as restoration of the building, extensive works will also include making Ayers House more disability compliant and enabling a more diverse range of public uses and events.

Heritage conservation works will be complemented by kitchen facility upgrades, the removal of asbestos, a new lift and the installation of new air conditioning infrastructure.

The Marshall Liberal Government’s successful Heritage Grants program will also be extended with an extra $1.5 million available over three years for owners of state heritage listed properties to preserve and protect their assets or activate heritage tourism.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Ayers House restoration and extended Heritage Grants program are expected to support employment of around 100 FTE jobs across the state in total over the three years.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s $8.1 million funding boost will help better protect and activate South Australia’s heritage sites which is a key part of our recently released Heritage Tourism Strategy,” Minister Speirs said.

“Ayers House is one of South Australia’s most prominent heritage assets but with the passage of time the property now requires significant amenity, preservation and restoration works to ensure it is sustained for future generations.

“The $6.6 million upgrade will restore the house to its rightful position as one of the great stately buildings of Adelaide, positioning it as a heritage icon, a tourist destination, an events space and the new home of the History Trust of South Australia.

“There is also an immense opportunity to benefit from Ayers House location across North Terrace from the state’s most exciting innovation, cultural and business precincts: Lot Fourteen.

“Activation and adaptation of Ayers House will enable the property to become a key part of a renaissance occurring in Adelaide’s East End, providing the house as a venue for events such as Illuminate, city festivals and the Fringe.

Minister Speirs said the extension of the Marshall Liberal Government’s Heritage Grants program will preserve historical sites and boost the state’s economy.

“South Australia has 2300 State Heritage Places of which more than 80 per cent are owned by private, commercial, community or local government,” Minister Speirs said.

“From the first two rounds of our Heritage Grants we know that for every dollar contributed by the State Government the private heritage owners will contribute an additional $6 to the South Australian economy.”

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