Heritage Project Fund

The Whakatu Nelson Heritage Strategy 2006 provided for the Heritage Project Fund – a contestable fund that provides grants to the owners of heritage items, and to others who are concerned with the city’s heritage, to encourage the conservation of buildings, objects and sites of heritage value in the city.

Grants are available to maintain, repair, restore, stabilise and provide advice and work for statutory seismic strengthening for buildings, objects and sites that are identified in the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Heritage Project Fund

The 2020/2021 Heritage Project Fund grant round closed Monday 10 August 2020.

The next round is scheduled to open April 2021, subject to any Covid-19 restrictions in place at that time. Owners of eligible heritage buildings will be contacted prior to the 2021 round opening with information on how to apply.

Who can apply?

Grant applicants must be one or more of the following:

  1. Owners of an A, B, or C listed heritage building, object or site listed in the Nelson Resource Management Plan
  2. Iwi
  3. Non-profit incorporated heritage groups or organisations
  4. Specialist bodies established to conserve or manage heritage places.

Grants are not available for the Council, Central Government or its agencies.

Grants - what you need to know

Grants of $1,000 (+GST) or more are available towards the cost of approved projects.

a) The building, object or site must be Heritage A, B, or C listed in the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

b) The building, object or site must not be owned by the Crown, Council, or its agencies.

c) The following types of projects are eligible for funding:

(i) stabilisation, repair or restoration of original heritage fabric relating to historic buildings or structures (e.g. repairs to masonry, joinery, plaster or glazing, earthquake strengthening or fire protection); provided the work is to the standard approved by the Council;

(ii) professional services (e.g. research, condition reports, conservation plans, heritage plans, conservation work specifications, management plans);

(iii) the proposed work must have all necessary Council and Heritage New Zealand approvals.

d) Assistance will not be provided for non-essential additions or alterations to listed buildings or objects, nor for the acquisition or relocation of listed buildings, objects and sites.

e) Applications must be made before the work starts (retrospective funding is not available) and work must be completed within the financial year that the Council has allocated the funding.

Funding uses regarding building conservation include:

  1. Waterproofing
  2. Earthquake proofing
  3. Underfloor ventilation
  4. One-off heritage features (e.g. provision of architraves)
  5. Appraisals or proposals for further funding

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  1. The contribution that the proposed work will make to the ongoing conservation and retention of the heritage values of the building, object or site
  2. Grants will be assessed as a percentage of the heritage conservation component of the work, and not the total project cost
  3. The urgency of the work to maintain the heritage values of the building, object or site
  4. The level of conservation standards proposed
  5. The extent to which the application exhibits sound heritage management planning and includes appropriate documentation of specifications, drawings and costings or conservation plans
  6. The extent to which the proposed work conforms with the principles and processes set out in the ICOMOS (NZ) Charter for the Conservation of Places of Cultural Heritage Value
  7. The financial and project management capacity of the applicant and/or advisors
  8. Applications for routine maintenance or repair to listed buildings or objects will be given low priority


For any enquiries or to make initial contact, please phone Nelson City Council on +64 3 546 0200.

Heritage Project Fund successful applications  in 2019 included:

Category Funding Funding Towards:
B $3,000.00 Replacing rotten weatherboards
A $6,956.00 Reinstating rotten porch over the back door and wooden steps, and flashing at the base of the wall to stop water ingress
B $10,000.00 Seismic strengthening
A $10,000.00 Addressing weather-tightness issues, replacing rotten timber, repairing window frame
B $5,000.00 Making heritage lift operational and retaining the original heritage features of the lift
B $5,000.00 Damp-proofing, repair and replacement of piles, replacing verandah deck, repairing rotten weatherboards
A $10,000.00 Replacing old electrical switchboard and wire fuses; renewing electrical wiring
A $5,000.00 Replacing weatherboards and decorative strut, treating and filling borer holes
B $5,000.00 Earthquake strengthening - retaining wall and backfilling
C $10,000.00 Replacing piles and earthquake strengthening foundations
A $10,000.00 Repairing verandah, removing asbestos, replacing a rotten window, repainting
B $1,800.00 Weatherboard and window repairs
A $5,000.00 Engineering seismic and structural building assessment
B $5,042.00 Windows: removing aluminium inserts, replacing with double-hung timber to match original
A $8,000.00 Replacing roof to make building weathertight
B $8,000.00 Drainage work to stop stormwater flowing in under the building