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Capital’s heritage fund needs strengthening.

Dec 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News, News

 

FUNDING NEEDED: IMAGE: Tess Nichol

FUNDING NEEDED: The issue of increased funding was raised at a Transport and Urban Development committee meeting last week. IMAGE: Tess Nichol

 

CLAIMS some heritage building owners are being denied the help they are entitled to because Wellington City Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund is underfunded.

At a Transport and Urban Development committee meeting last week, councillor Iona Pannett raised concerns that some owners were unfairly missing out.

She made specific reference to a request for funding of $5,000 for a building in the Newtown heritage area to help with repainting.

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CITY HERITAGE: This building in the Newtown Heritage Area asked for a small amount of funding but was denied due to seismic prioritising. IMAGE: Google streetview

“They asked for a very modest amount of money and it’s an important area,” she says.

Senior heritage advisor Trevor Keppel said officers had to decline the request.

“There are a number of projects we have had to decline on because of seismic priority,” he said.

“As officers we have been directed to fund seismic projects.”

It was decided in 2012 the BHIF would focus on remedying earthquake-prone related features as part of the council’s Long Term Plan.

However Councillor Pannett said that seismic strengthening isn’t only about putting in beams, but also ongoing maintenance to stop deterioration.

“We need to increase the BHIF so maintenance can be funded,” she says.

The BHIF has doled out almost $150,000 in the second round of funding for the 2014/15 financial year, approving nine of 16 requests from building owners.

Councillor Pannett said she was concerned there would be less than $60,000 left for the third and final round of funding.

Mr Keppel assured Councillor Pannett that some of the money allocated in this round would be surplus and returned to the BHIF, meaning there would likely be more available for the third round.

Councillor Pannett was careful not to criticise Mr Keppel and his team.

“It’s fantastic to see so many owners getting on and being supported,” she says.

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