Culture and heritage

Grants help neighbours preserve historic streetscapes

24 August 2022

Passionate Melburnians are making over their heritage places to help preserve beautiful streetscapes for generations to come.

Heritage plays a key role in making Melbourne a place where people love to live, work and visit.

To preserve the city’s unique character, we offer heritage grants to help people complete restoration projects at residential, community and commercial properties across the municipality.

We recently awarded two heritage grants to neighbours on McCracken Street in Kensington.

Ian Porter restored floor tiles on his verandah, and Kensington Neighbourhood House replaced the stained glass on its front-door sidelights.

A common feature on McCracken street, the sidelights cast a beautiful crimson glow into homes during summer sunsets.

Ian, Rebecca and Lucy

Ian, Rebecca and Lucy the dog

‘I was pleased to be able to access a grant to restore our verandah and make it safe, as some of the tiles were broken. The project has been well worth it,’ Ian said.

‘When you live in a heritage home, you can modernise the inside to make it liveable, but exterior restoration helps preserve the character of the streetscape.’

Kensington Neighbourhood House runs educational, wellbeing and social events to bring diverse local people together. Manager Rebecca Smith said restoration helps make the community hub a welcoming place.

‘The heritage grants program gave us the opportunity to repair our sidelights, which were cracked and broken, to help restore this beautiful building to its former glory,’ Rebecca said.

‘Projects like this help make the Kensington Neighbourhood House a welcoming and friendly place that the community can be proud of.’

Ian and Rebecca have both lived in Kensington for decades and love the character and community of the suburb.

‘Kensington is a very historic area. We love walking our dog, Lucy, down along the old stock route,’ Ian said.

Ian, Rebecca and Lucy

Lucy shows off the new tiles

Looking to the future, the neighbours will continue to take care of their piece of local heritage.

Kensington Neighbourhood House recently replaced its slate roof, which has made it watertight and ready to face another hundred years.

Roof works are on Ian’s wish-list too, and he’s also planning to paint his front door to continue to maintain his home’s facade.

About the heritage grants program

First established in 1988, the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund is our local fund for heritage grants, held within the Victorian Heritage Restoration Fund. Grants are administered by the National Trust of Victoria.

Four landmark restoration projects

Keep an eye out in your neighbourhood to see historic houses returned to their former glory through common projects like reinstatement of original features like windows and verandahs, re-pointing of brickwork, and removal of paint.

We also provide grants to support the restoration of iconic public buildings. Keep an eye out for these projects around the city:

  1. cast iron gates and garden restored at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre at 210 Lonsdale Street in the CBD
  2. Richard Beck’s mosaic mural (which commemorates the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games) restored on the side of the former Hosie’s Hotel at 1 Elizabeth Street in the CBD
  3. reinstatement of original signage on Gordon House at 24 Little Bourke Street
  4. paint and render removed, and historic ‘ghost’ signage retained, on a landmark building at 492 Queensberry Street in North Melbourne.

How to apply for a heritage grant

Have you been thinking about a project that would transform your heritage place? A little restoration work can go a long way to transforming your building and keeping it in great condition for years to come.

To be eligible, your property must be within a heritage overlay and located in the City of Melbourne. The works must also be visible from the public realm.

To find out more, visit Heritage grants.

Guiding good development

We protect and enhance heritage places through planning controls and policies that stop inappropriate and low-quality development.

To read about a hospitality mega-venue that epitomises good design and heritage protection outcomes, visit An act of love: HER transforms a heritage laneway.

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