Government provides $2.2m to heritage buildings for quake strengthening

  • Hon Grant Robertson
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Building owners around New Zealand have benefited from the latest round of Heritage EQUIP funding with grants totalling $2,230,166.

“The Heritage EQUIP grants for seismic strengthening assist private building owners to get the professional advice they need to go ahead with their projects or support them to carry out the required work,” Grant Robertson said.

“I am pleased to see three groups of building owners working together to get the advice required to progress their projects.

“Owners of eight buildings in Whanganui’s town centre receive $154,033 for the structural advice and costed concept design. In Feilding two corner buildings in the town centre receive $32,998, and in Invercargill some 12 buildings receive $144,385.

“All three centres are fortunate to have numerous heritage buildings and it’s encouraging to see local authorities and building owners working together to address their seismic upgrade challenges.

“These grants recognise an increased focus on partnerships with local authorities developed through Heritage EQUIP over the last 18 months. This work has helped regional building owners access the right professional advice.

“The two largest grants towards individual buildings are $220,000 for the Johnston and Co building which frames the entrance to central Whanganui and $250,000 for the former Wellington Woollen Mills building in Christchurch. The latter is on the city’s list of significant buildings requiring work after the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

“With its heritage values and noted on Whanganui’s District Plan, the Johnston and Co building is a significant gateway into the business area. The funding is for masonry support along with structural work and bracing to tie the building together.

“The Wellington Woollen Mills is a Heritage New Zealand Category 1 listed building located in Lichfield Street. The funding recognises the building’s importance and is for façade repair, and column, wall and floor strengthening.

“A total of 42 buildings will receive financial support in the latest Heritage EQUIP funding round through 23 grants. Fifteen grants are for upgrade work and eight for professional advice.

“Additional funding of $3.1 million in Budget 2020 means the programme has been extended for a further year,” Grant Robertson said.