Heritage properties benefit from $40,000 in local heritage grants

Various heritage properties in the localities of Pitt Town, Wilberforce, St Albans, Upper Macdonald, Ebenezer, McGraths Hill, Richmond and Windsor are sharing in $40,000 in local heritage grants from the Local Heritage Assistance Program administered by Hawkesbury City Council.

Thanks to this funding, an iconic heritage slab barn at Pitt Town Bottoms Road, Pitt Town is still standing even after the ravages of the major 2021 flood, as restoration work was carried out on the barn before floodwater engulfed the property. Gable ends were repaired and structural repairs included new vertical posts and strengthening of the original framework.

At Wollombi Road, St Albans, a heritage grant will be used to repoint stone walls at First Farm Cottage, while in Moses Street, Windsor, five memorials will be repaired and fixed in the St Matthews Anglican Church graveyard. Other domestic properties will have repairs to fences, a chimney and stone walls.

The 2020/2021 Hawkesbury Local Heritage Assistance Program is funded primarily by Hawkesbury City Council, and also NSW Heritage. Council’s contribution has increased from previous years funding allocation based on consideration of advice from Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee. A requirement of the funding is that property owners match or exceed the funding. The funding available for any one property was set at $2,000 or less.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Patrick Conolly commended the owners and managers of local heritage properties who are looking to protect and conserve the Hawkesbury’s local heritage, which Council supports and encourages.

“The program aims to promote awareness and a positive attitude towards heritage and to encourage and assist the conservation and restoration of the Hawkesbury’s significant heritage,” Mayor Conolly said.

“Our Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan 2017-2036 recognises the importance of conservation and promotion of the Hawkesbury’s heritage and history for current and future generations.”

“In July 2020, Council invited owners and managers of heritage listed properties to apply for funding to undertake the preparation of maintenance plans and minor maintenance or conservation works to heritage listed properties within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area,” Mayor Conolly said.

“The additional funding allocated by Council meant that a record number of applications, 21, could be approved, up from the 15 approvals in the previous financial year.

“I would encourage owners and managers of local heritage properties to consider applying for this increasingly popular program when next year’s funding round opens in mid-2021. Council’s website includes examples from the previous year’s program, and highlights the types of works that can be readily undertaken,” Mayor Conolly said.

The Mayor also highlighted the role that Council’s free Heritage Advisory Service plays in providing valuable advice to owners of heritage listed properties.

“The Hawkesbury Heritage Advisory Service continues to go from strength to strength, and is proving to be a useful service for owners of heritage listed properties to receive free advice from a highly experienced heritage architect, whether it is pre-development application advice, general advice or advice on appropriate maintenance of heritage items,” Mayor Conolly said.

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