29/06/2004 - 22:00

Heritage scheme looks to build

29/06/2004 - 22:00

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A city of Perth heritage incentives program launched in March has allocated its first grant and award.

The Box Building at 918 Hay Street received a $10,000 award for building design and conservation, while Tower House at 115 Francis Street received a $20,000 grant for undertaking restoration works.

Tower House was the only applicant to meet the program’s criteria, however, and thus was the only recipient of a grant

Just five applications were received for the total $200,000 in heritage grants made available for restoration works by the City of Perth.

A City of Perth spokesman said council would be seeking feedback on the program and had endorsed the recommendation to allocate $200,000 in next year’s budget to run the program again.

The City of Perth has several heritage incentives in place, which includes grants, rate reduction, bonus plot ration and transfer plot ratio, parking concessions and streetscape improvements.

National Trust CEO Tom Perrigo said the national trust had worked closely with the City of Perth in designing the grants and was keen to help in the future.

“I think there are several reasons why the response was not so positive,” Mr Perrigo said.

“Twenty thousand dollars is a relatively small amount of money knowing the cost of conservation, and traditional grants from the Heritage Council have been full of red tape, so people may not have thought it was worth applying.

“I don’t think that many people even realised that the grants were being offered, but that isn’t a major problem.”

Mr Perrigo said the program would be oversubscribed by its second or third year.

“Heritage is seen by many as a dirty word and people are totally confused, but that is primarily the fault of the heritage industry, which could work a lot better together, and we are currently working on that” he said.

The City of Perth is currently establishing a board for a heritage appeal under the National Trust Act, which hopes to make millions of dollars of funding available to heritage buildings in the city.

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