Archive for January 17th, 2009

WCC heritage grants

You may have seen the current issue of City Life (13-19 Jan 08). Page 3 presents some ideas the council has regarding saving money given the “credit crunch.” At the top of the third column is “Ending the heritage grants scheme for building owners.” My understanding is that this is one of the few pots of money that owners of heritage building can get support for maintaining their buildings. I guess it’s some acknowledgement (in theory at least) that heritage is a communally inflicted responsibility.

In a past Arch Centre submission we have already been critical about the plans the WCC had then to reduce the amount available. Their argument was that there had been a low uptake from building owners. Our position was that the low uptake was an issue suggesting the need for greater promotion of the fund, not cutting it.

I haven’t had a chance to read the finer detail of the current proposal, but the suggestion (which is accompanied in the article by others such as “Prioritising maintenance for [council] gardens and beaches so less is spent on mowing, maintenance and garden beds”), seems naive to me regarding the potential long-term effects of retaining and improving council financial support for heritage buildings versus reducing it. As we know, looking around Wellington, once a worthy building is gone the odds are against something better replacing it.

Posted on 17th January 2009
Under: RANTING | 10 Comments »