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ICC helps heritage building owners secure Govt funding

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ensuring our city centre’s heritage buildings are safe just became a little less costly for some building owners, thanks to government funding secured with support from Invercargill City Council.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Grant Robertson earlier this week announced more than $300,000 in funding for Invercargill heritage buildings as part of the Heritage EQUIP programme.

Invercargill City Council’s Urban Design and Heritage Planner Shannon Baxter and former Development Liaison Manager Simon Tonkin were successful in coordinating a multiple-building funding application to the programme. The largest group application approved by Heritage EQUIP to date, it secured $135,000 towards seismic reports for 11 heritage building owners in the city.

This will cover a substantial amount of the costs for building owners to assess their buildings under earthquake-prone legislation.

Of the buildings, two are Heritage NZ Category 2 listed, with the remainder recognised as locally significant within our District Plan.

Ms Baxter said the success of the application was the result of a supportive relationship between building owners, Invercargill City Council, and Heritage EQUIP.

"The funding announced means that 67 per cent of the total costs of the seismic reports for these buildings will be covered. This helps relieve pressure on building owners who may have struggled to fulfil their obligation to provide seismic reports under the earthquake-prone building provisions of the Building Act. They are taking the first steps towards ensuring that their buildings are safe in the event of an earthquake," she said.

"We are in the process of coordinating a second multiple-building application for Heritage EQUIP, due next month. Eligible building owners have been invited to join the application."

Opportunities for funding did not stop at accessing specialist reports, Ms Baxter said.

"Building owners who already have seismic reports which have been accepted by Council and identify that strengthening work is required may be eligible for Heritage EQUIP funding towards the cost of undertaking strengthening works," she said.

Invercargill City Council also has funding available for other work relating to heritage buildings located within the City Centre Heritage Area.

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