Heritage Grant Fund work underway

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10/04/2019 1:00:00 p.m.

64 Guyton Street before and after heritage enhancement

10 April 2019

Heritage enhancement is in the works for a number of town centre buildings after they received funding from Whanganui District Council’s Heritage Grant Fund, which was introduced in July last year.

The Heritage Grant Fund provides financial assistance to private building owners in the town centre for external heritage enhancement work.  Owners of seven buildings have so far been awarded funding.

The first building to have Heritage Grant work completed is 64 Guyton Street.

Last week repainting work commenced on the former National Bank building next to Majestic Square, which is listed as a Heritage Building.

Enhancement work is also underway on the Thain’s building at 1 Victoria Avenue. Building owner Bryce Smith says receiving a Heritage Grant “means we can complete heritage work more quickly and to a higher standard than would otherwise have been the case.

“Some of the windows on the ground floor are original from 1908 and some are not. We’re going to replace windows which don’t match the original ones, reinstate the ornate plaster scroll design on the Taupō Quay façade, remove the veranda and paint the ground floor in heritage colours”.

In August 2018 the Council opposed a demolition request from the previous owners of the Thain’s Building, and the Council’s position was validated by an independent commissioner who declined the consent.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says many people in the community felt strongly about keeping the Thain’s Building and spoke up in support of it last year.

“Having this landmark building not only preserved but restored by the new owners is a fantastic outcome for the city”.

Whanganui District Council’s Principal Planner Hamish Lampp says the Council works with building owners to “source original photographs of their building and present options for heritage colour schemes as a starting point for a conversation about the owner’s preferences”.

Councillor Helen Craig says, “I would encourage town centre building owners to get in touch with the Council to explore their options. This is a great opportunity to receive funding and access to a network of people with heritage experience.

“We’re fortunate here in Whanganui to have such a high concentration of historic town centre buildings as they give us a real edge when drawing visitors to our city. With these projects well underway we are now seeing the benefit of having these character buildings restored and beautifully presented”.

Applications for the Heritage Grant can be lodged with the Council at any time, with the next round closing at the end of May. There are three rounds of funding awarded each year and a total funding pool of $100,000 per annum.  Funding applications must be made before work commences and the project must be completed within 12 months of receiving funding approval.

If you are a town centre building owner interested in finding out more about the Heritage Grant Fund, contact Leayne Huirua on 06 349 3116 or leayne.huirua@whanganui.govt.nz

Page reviewed: 10 Apr 2019 1:00pm