Heritage grants awarded to local property owners

Completed restoration project in Blackheath
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Seven local property owners received a combined $11,000 in grants from the Blue Mountains Local Heritage Assistance Fund, to undertake minor conservation works on heritage properties in the Blue Mountains.

The Fund, jointly funded by Blue Mountains City Council and the NSW Government, provides dollar for dollar grant funding of up to $2,000 for minor conservation works on privately owned heritage properties.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “I always love hearing about the wonderful work happening across Council, and in this case, the important work being done to support local heritage. This program goes towards implementing Council’s Heritage Strategy that was unanimously endorsed by Council earlier this year”.

“This fund recognises the importance of conserving, protecting and caring for local heritage buildings. And it does so in the most meaningful way, by supporting local people directly.

“Owning and conserving heritage property is a great responsibility and can be costly. This Fund makes meeting that task easier and provides an opportunity for property owners to collaborate with Council on the upkeep of these important properties.” Councillor Chris Van der Kley, Chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee said: “It’s a genuine pleasure to be able to help local residents restore and conserve heritage buildings.

“Our heritage is unique and extremely important to us here in the Blue Mountains. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that as well as our glorious World Heritage Area, we have a wealth of built heritage, which is equally as important and equally as beautiful.

“We always have a high level of community interest in applications for grants, which reflects the importance of our built heritage and the character it brings to our City.

“The Heritage Advisory Committee’s work, and this Fund are focused on ensuring our built heritage lasts for generations to come, and continue to tell the story of our Blue Mountains.”

In the 2020/21 and 2019/20 funding rounds, funding was directed towards contributory buildings that make an important contribution to the character and significance of Heritage Conservation Areas. Priority was given to newly listed Heritage Conservation Areas that were previously known as ‘Period Housing Areas’.

Council has secured funding from the NSW Government to continue the Fund for the next two years. Applications are open from 25 August – 30 September 2021. The Fund has also been increased, and will now have a total of $15,000 to award, and individual grants will now be up to $2,500 each.

This new round of grants, which apply to the 2021/22 financial year, will direct funding towards heritage buildings that are listed as local heritage items in the Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan. Priority will be given to minor conservation works to buildings that will provide a public benefit to the community, such as improvements to enhance the building’s façade or exterior of the building.

Consideration will also be given to the preparation of strategic heritage documents, such as conservation management strategies or heritage interpretation plans, for heritage buildings under threat or in exceptional circumstances.

Owners and managers of these properties are invited and encouraged to apply for a grant. Applications close 5pm Thursday 30 September.

More information is available at bmcc.nsw.gov.au/LHAF

For enquiries, please contact Council at HeritageAssistanceFund@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or on 4780 5000.

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