16 Oct 2018

Heritage buildings to share $850k quake-strengthening funds

8:55 pm on 16 October 2018

Heritage buildings in Wellington, Nelson and Auckland will get government funding to help with earthquake strengthening.

Owners of the heritage-listed Ashleigh Court Hotel in Newtown, Wellington are facing problems getting its facades fixed.

Ashleigh Court Newtown will receive $184,000 for comprehensive strengthening work. Photo: RNZ / Phil Pennington

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage said Nelson's State Cinema, the former post office in Auckland's Onehunga, and four buildings in Wellington would share a grant totalling $852,000.

Heritage EQUIP, New Zealand's Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme, provided up to 50 percent of the funding required for seismic strengthening of privately-owned heritage listed buildings.

A ministry spokesperson, Tamsin Evans, said the Onehunga post office was the suburb's oldest remaining building, and was well known to local residents.

"It was built in 1902, and operated as a post office for more than 70 years," Ms Evans said.

"The strengthening work will bring the building's structural rating up to 85 percent of the new building standard."

The building had received a $78,000 grant from the heritage fund.

Nelson's State Cinema in Trafalgar Street was an art deco-style building with a Heritage New Zealand Category 2 listing, and had always operated as a cinema.

It received $59,000 for strengthening the parapet, which was the last stage of the cinema's seismic upgrade.

Ms Evans said more than $700,000 would be shared among the owners of four significant Wellington buildings, including the landmark Erskine Chapel in Island Bay, and the Farmers Building in Cuba Street.

"Ashleigh Court Newtown, a Heritage NZ Category 1 building is receiving $184,000 for comprehensive strengthening work, 255 Cuba Street is allocated $31,000; the landmark Erskine Chapel, also a Category 1 building, receives $250,000; and the Farmers Building in Cuba Street receives $250,000," Ms Evans said.

She said since the programme was started in 2016, total funding of $4.9 million has been allocated to help with the earthquake strengthening of heritage buildings throughout the country.

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