Protecting heritage buildings

by Laurie Willetts

Seismic strengthening projects throughout New Zealand will benefit from the latest Heritage EQUIP funding grants totalling $1.87 million.

“The projects include work on heritage buildings in Christchurch, Hokitika, Timaru, Cambridge and Feilding,” says Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson.

“The Dorset Street Flats in Christchurch, which were designed in 1956 by architect Sir Miles Warren, were damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

A Heritage EQUIP works grant of $200,000 will supplement the owner’s insurance funds to assist with the strengthening.

“This round sees a total of 15 grants allocated — nine works grants and six professional advice grants. Overall 35 of the 54 grants have now been awarded for projects outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

“I am delighted the owners of six buildings in Feilding were successful in a joint application of $85,760 for advice funding. These Edwardian buildings are a focus of Feilding’s town centre and Heritage New Zealand Category two listed. I am pleased Heritage EQUIP is supporting the strengthening as earlier this year the Manawatu community identified them as significant buildings in a district-wide Feilding town centre visioning exercise. In addition to receiving an advice grant earlier this year, the owners of the Cambridge Masonic Hotel have been awarded $300,000 to carry out necessary reinforcement. The upgraded building will reopen in 2020 to provide boutique hotel accommodation.

“Over the nine rounds completed since early 2017 funding of $7.8 million has been awarded. Heritage buildings are integral to the character of New Zealand and two more funding rounds will be held prior to June 2020 to allocate the $2.4 million remaining in the Heritage EQUIP fund.”