New $260,000 fund for heritage building restoration

The City of Melbourne is inviting heritage building owners to apply for a new $260,000 fund that will provide support to undertake restoration works on community-owned and landmark buildings.

Expressions of interest in the Landmark and Community Buildings Fund are now open to not-for-profit, charity, or community owned or occupied heritage buildings, and privately owned heritage buildings that are considered landmarks, a feature of their local area or well-known meeting places.

Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio Chair Councillor Rohan Leppert said the new fund was part of the $600,000 multi-year Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund.

“Melbourne’s heritage buildings tell the stories of our city’s history and create a sense of place that make it somewhere people love to live, work and visit,” Cr Leppert said.

“The City of Melbourne recognises that heritage restoration works are valuable but can also be expensive which is why we are providing incentives for owners through the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund.

“Whether it’s a small restoration project or major renovation works, I encourage heritage building owners to check if they are eligible for financial assistance.”

To be eligible to apply for a grant, heritage properties must be within a heritage overlay and located in the City of Melbourne, and the works must be visible from the public realm.

The fund will contribute between 50 and 100 per cent of the total cost of a project for not-for-profit, charity, or community owned or occupied heritage buildings. In exceptional circumstances, the fund will be allocated to one project but is most likely to be split across multiple projects.

Privately owned and commercial buildings that are landmarks will receive funding of up to 60 per cent of the total cost. The total amount an individual project receives will depend on the number of projects funded in any given round of funding. The final decision on funding allocations is made by a committee of the Victorian Heritage Restoration Fund.

“The expression of interest process is open from now until August 31. It’s designed to be fast and straightforward so that building owners can find out whether they are eligible before they submit a detailed application,” Cr Leppert said.

“The City of Melbourne has already provided six community, commercial and residential grants for smaller scale restoration projects in the last financial year through the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund.

“They include the Mission to Seafarers in Docklands for the restoration of its historic nautical weathervane and the reinstatement of decorative keystones on Alcaston House on Collins Street.”

Owners of private and commercial buildings that are not landmarks are encouraged to apply for a grant through the All Heritage Buildings Fund at any time. This stream of the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund provides funding for conservation works to any building within a Heritage Overlay in the City of Melbourne, as long as the works are visible to the public.

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