Funds to help conserve heritage properties

September 18, 2021 BY

The National Trust of Australia’s Claudette Brennan and volunteer Christine Stevenson inside the stables at The Heights. Photos: PETER MARSHALL

HISTORIC properties in Newtown and Queenscliff will receive funding for important restoration works in the latest round of a state government initiative.

The Heights and the St George the Martyr Church and Parish Hall are two of the 19 projects supported by round six of the Living Heritage Program.

The state government says the more than $2.3 million for conservation works to revive and repair ‘at-risk’ places and objects on the Victorian Heritage Register is its biggest ever investment into heritage.

The Heights, which was shipped to Australia in the 1850s from Germany and is Victoria’s largest prefabricated house, is receiving $167,000.

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) conservation architect Samantha Westbrooke said the conservation project would involve the re-roofing and carpentry works as a first stage of restoring the stone stables.

“This includes like for like replacement of the roof cladding in corrugated galvanised iron with galvanised iron guttering and downpipes and restoration of the louvres and timberwork to the clerestory roof.

“Carpentry repairs will be undertaken to the roof framing and trusses, retaining as much original fabric as possible and providing additional structural supports alongside existing original elements where necessary.

“The Trust will also seek funding to undertake the necessary stone restoration as a second stage to the project.”

Originally constructed in Germany then shipped to Australia, The Heights is Victoria’s largest prefabricated house.

The St George the Martyr Church – built in stages between 1864 and 1878 – and Parish Hall will get $39,000.

Since 2016, the Living Heritage Program has invested more than $60 million in more than 160 conservation projects with 89 completed so far.

The state government says the heritage sector contributes about $2.4 billion towards Victoria’s tourism industry each year and supports 184,800 jobs.

“The Living Heritage Program is about protecting significant sites across Victoria for future generations to enjoy and learn from,” Planning Minister Richard Wynne said.

“These are the sites that tell stories about our history and play a major role in rural and regional Victoria’s tourism industry – we’re proud to protect these treasured community assets.”

Applications for round seven of the Living Heritage Program will open early next year.

For more information and a full list of grant recipients, head to the Heritage Victoria website.

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