Auckland Council allocates a mere $80,000, the same amount as the Waipa (Matamata) District Council, and pales in comparison to Wellington’s $1m per year.
The enhancement of several town-centre buildings is well on the way with funding from the Whanganui District Council Heritage Grant Fund.
Introduced last July, the fund provides financial assistance to private building owners in the town centre for external heritage enhancement work. Owners of seven buildings have received funding and the first building to have grant funding work completed is 64 Guyton Street.
Recently, repainting work was undertaken on the former National Bank building next to Majestic Square, which is a heritage listed building. Enhancement work is also underway on the Thain’s Building at 1 Victoria Ave in Whanganui.
The new owner of the Thain’s building, Bryce Smith, says the receiving of a grant meant heritage work could be completed more quickly and to a higher standard than it would have been otherwise.
“Some windows on the ground floor are 1908 original. We are going to replace windows which don’t match the original ones, reinstate the ornate plaster scroll design on the Taupo Quay façade, remove the veranda and paint the ground floor in heritage colours,” says Bryce.
Last year the council, supported by Heritage New Zealand, opposed a demolition request from the previous owners of the Thain’s Building and its position was validated by an independent commissioner who declined the consent application.
Whanganui District Council principal planner, Hamish Lampp, said the council worked 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, also a member of the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust, is encouraging town-centre building owners to get in touch with the council to explore their options.
Three rounds of funding will be awarded annually from a total funding pool of $100,000 a year.