Other funding opportunities

Learn more about the support, advice or funding available for your heritage project from other organisations including your local council and the Australian and NSW governments.

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 advisors 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 advisor.

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

The major sources of Australian Government funding for activities that benefit Australia's heritage are:

  • Competitive programs and
  • Discretionary, ad hoc or non-competitive grants.

Further information can be found at Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Energy / Heritage grants and funding website.

The Funding Centre is the best place to get information on grants and fundraising in Australia.

community builders.nsw 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.

For information about funding opportunities for local history projects, contact the Royal Australian Historical Society.

Contact 02 9247 8001 or email at history@rahs.org.au

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.

If you have a project which involves a heritage item owned by RailCorp, seek advice from the Office of Rail Heritage, RailCorp.

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.

Museums and Galleries NSW offers a range of community grants programs.

For inquiries on existing and proposed museum projects, phone (02) 9252 8300.

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.

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 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 Communications and the Arts.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provide funding under the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants 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.

The NSW Office for Veterans Affairs established the Community War Memorials Fund to help protect and restore war memorials across NSW. Funding requests are considered by the State War Memorials Committee and applications close on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day each year.

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-General'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.

Suggested fundraising or in-kind support options

Consider the following fundraising 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, the Department of Human Services 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

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.

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.

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.

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 Valuer General on 1800 110 038.