Culture and heritage

Heritage

Other funding opportunities

Local council assistance for heritage projects

Free heritage advice

Your local council is your first source of information on heritage in your local area.

A number of councils have officers who are knowledgeable about heritage matters and who may be able to assist you. To make use of these services, phone the council concerned and ask for the officer who normally deals with heritage matters.

Many councils in NSW also have part-time heritage advisers whose duties normally include giving free advice to owners of heritage items. Phone the council concerned to inquire about discussing your project with the heritage adviser.

Funding from your local council

Many local councils in NSW provide small grants to assist heritage projects. Check with your council to see if it offers grants through its local heritage fund: ask for the officer who normally deals with heritage matters.

Funding opportunities for a range of heritage projects

Australian Government heritage grants and funding

NSW Government website

Community builders is a NSW Government website that lists all funding programs from federal, state and local government as well as institutions, philanthropic trusts and companies. All NSW Government grants are currently advertised through this website.

Historical research and local archives projects

For information about funding opportunities for local history projects, contact the Royal Australian Historical Society external link by phoning (02) 9247 8001 or via email at grants@rahs.org.au

Funding for natural environment projects

The Office of Environment and Heritage offers a range of environmental grants programs advertised on the NSW Environmental Trust website. These programs fund projects to rehabilitate or regenerate the environment, or promote environmental education and sustainability.

Of particular interest is the Protecting our Places Program which supports projects that restore or rehabilitate Aboriginal land and land that is culturally significant to Aboriginal people as well as educate Aboriginal and other communities about the environment.

Funding for railway heritage projects

If you have a project which involves a heritage item owned by RailCorp, seek advice from the Office of Rail Heritage, Railcorp. Contact (02) 9379 3464 or email heritage@railcorp.nsw.gov.au.

Funding for local archive and history projects

For information about funding opportunities for local history projects, contact the Royal Australian Historical Society or phone (02) 9247 8001 or email grants@rahs.org.au.

National library community heritage grants

The Community Heritage Grants program, funded by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia, provides grants to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups. The grants are provided to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible, including artefacts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs and audio-visual material.

Funding and advice on museum projects

Museums and Galleries NSW offers a range of community grants programs. For inquiries on existing and proposed museum projects, phone (02) 9358 1760.

Arts NSW funding

Arts NSW is the State Government funding agency for community museums. Arts NSW provides a range of funding programs that can assist with collections management, exhibitions, display, education and training programs. Some funding is also available for capital work projects. Contact Arts NSW on (02) 9228 5533.

Cultural collections program and movable cultural heritage

For information about funding through the Australian Government for community heritage grants and cultural collections to a public collecting institution, contact the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport via their website www.arts.gov.au/cgp.

Cultural gifts program

Australia's collecting institutions play a vital role in the nation’s cultural life. They provide safekeeping, touring and celebrate Australia’s rich cultural heritage.

The Australian Government’s Attorney-General's Department Ministry for the Arts programs and initiatives that support and develop quality collections across Australia at a national and regional level.

The Cultural Gifts Program offers tax incentives for culturally significant gifts to Australia's public collections. It encourages Australians to donate items of cultural significance from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives.

Gifts can range from paintings, books, sculptures, manuscripts and personal papers to jewellery, ceramics - even entire technological, mechanical, scientific or social history collections.

The program is administered in accordance with the gift provisions of the income tax law. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet administers the program with the advice of an expert committee, the Committee on Taxation Incentives for the Arts.

For further information, contact the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport or phone (02) 6275 9651.

Funding for war memorials, new memorials, plaques and memorabilia

Funding is available under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Saluting Their Service Program to conserve and upgrade existing memorials and improve safety and access to them or construct new memorials where none exist.

Funding is available for plaques or honour boards and the restoration, preservation and interpretation of Australian wartime memorabilia for public display but not for the construction or maintenance of buildings, including memorial halls and sporting facilities.

Community war memorials fund

The NSW Office of Communities Veterans’ Affairs has established the Community War Memorials Fund to help protect and restore war memorials across NSW. Grants are considered by a State War Memorials Committee, which will assess applications and announce grant recipients twice a year around ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.

Maritime Museums of Australia heritage assistance program

The Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme is a maritime heritage assistance program that provides grants for collection management, conservation and presentation. It is jointly funded by the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Australian Government's Attorney-Gerneral's Department Ministry for the Arts.

Support for community-owned heritage items

National Trust tax-deductible appeal for donations

The National Trust supports conservation works to properties of heritage significance through tax-deductible appeals carried out under the National Trust’s tax deductibility status within conditions laid down by the Australian Taxation Office.

Consider establishing a National Trust tax-deductible appeal for donations to make the project more attractive to potential donors. For assistance, phone David Child at the National Trust on (02) 9258 0169 or email dchild@nationaltrust.com.au.

Suggested fund-raising or in-kind support options

Consider the following fund-raising suggestions: auction nights, heritage building open days, antique fairs, art sales, musical evenings or major raffles (preferably with a significant item, such as a car, to generate greater interest).

Check with your local council, commonwealth employment agency or Corrective Services NSW about the possibility of employment support for your project - you may have to supply supervision, equipment and materials.

Ask your local council for cash or in-kind support for your project. If you have a rateable property, request that the rates are reimbursed for the purpose of maintaining your heritage building.

Seek sponsorship in cash or in-kind from local businesses or service groups such as Apex, Rotary or Lions.

Potential concessions

Potential building and planning concessions for heritage building projects

If a property is listed in a local environmental plan by your local council, you may be entitled to parking, building site ratio and land use concessions to assist your project.

In the City of Sydney there are provisions which permit the transfer of potential floor space from heritage-listed sites. These transfers are potentially very valuable and can be used by the owner or sold to another.

Heritage Council advice on fire, access and services

If you have a fire rating or access problem, you can refer it to the Heritage Council's Fire, Access and Services Advisory Panel. Solutions may minimise alterations and reduce costs. Contact at the Heritage Division for further information, email: heritage@heritage.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 9873 8500.

Other incentives for privately owned heritage items

Tax deductions on income-earning property

If your property earns income, you can claim a deduction against the assessed income for maintenance work - discuss this with your tax advisor. The value of any repair work will normally be allowable as a full deduction in the year incurred. Contact your tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office.

Home loans for seniors

Loans are now available which enable seniors to borrow against the value of their home for any purpose without the need for repayment unless sold. If this is of interest to you, make and rely on your own inquiries of lending bodies.

Heritage valuations for land tax and local rates under the NSW Heritage Act

Where a property is listed on the State Heritage Register, a heritage valuation is automatically provided to reflect its value without development potential. This valuation is then used in assessing local rates and land tax. If eligible, ensure that a heritage valuation is being used.

Heritage valuations for land tax and local rates for locally listed properties

If your property is on a local, regional or state environmental plan list you can receive a heritage-restricted valuation for the purpose of land tax and local rates.

In the first instance, check with the rates section of your local council to see if this heritage-restricted valuation discount has been deducted from your council rates.

If you require a heritage-restricted valuation and do not have one, direct requests to the NSW Government’s Land & Property Information (LPI). The LPI Head Office phone is 1300 052 637 or visit the website at www.lpi.nsw.gov.au/

Page last updated: 02 December 2016