Fund available for buildings

THE owners of earthquake-prone, heritage listed buildings in Southland will be able to apply for support for earthquake strengthening work through a new Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme fund to be known as Equip.
The fund, launched last week by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry, will make $12 million available over the next four years.
The contestable fund will be available for all privately-owned category 1 Heritage New Zealand-listed buildings across the country and for category 2 listed heritage buildings in areas of high to medium seismic risk such as Southland.
Applicants will need to look to match Equip funding with local Government, philanthropic, community and their own contributions.
‘‘We don’t want to see valued buildings empty and deteriorating, or even demolished, because it isn’t economical to strengthen them. This new fund will support owners to preserve our built heritage for future generations,’’ Ms Barry said.
An expert advisory panel would be set up to assess applications, which would open next year, she said.
In a statement, Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie encouraged building owners to apply.
‘‘I encourage anyone who is interested to apply for this fund so that we can protect our cherished heritage sites for future generations.’’
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