Heritage Grants and Loans


Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund


VHRF LogoCommunity grants for heritage restoration projects have been doubled thanks to a partnership between the City of Ballarat and the Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund (VHRF).Previously known as the City of Ballarat Preserving Our Heritage Together Grants Program, the Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund provides a new and improved grants program for the Ballarat community.

The fund provides financial assistance for conservation works to places of identified heritage significance within the City of Ballarat. 

Through the Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund $300,000 will be offered over three years, with two funding rounds each financial year.

Eligible places are those privately-owned and protected under a heritage overlay in the
City of Ballarat, and must conserve the overall significance of the place and involve works that are visible from a public place.

VHRF has representation from the National Trust, the City of Melbourne, the Department
of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and regional councils including City of Ballarat.  It is an independent organisation established to deliver effective and efficient heritage grant programs.  It delivers heritage grant programs for City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, City of Ballarat and the Victorian Government.  The Administrator for VHRF is the National Trust of Australia (Vic).

For further information, please contact VHRF Administrator on (03) 9656 9870 or email admin@vhrf.com.au.

Jacksons B and A
2012/2013 Heritage Grant recipient 201 Mair Street, Ballarat


Heritage Restoration Loans

Owners of properties listed as significant or contributory heritage place in a Heritage Overlay are eligible to apply for a loan to undertake work to improve the physical security or appearance of the place.  You can find out if your property is in the Heritage Overlay by checking your property in the Ballarat Heritage Database.  Eligible places are listed in the Ballarat Heritage Database as:

  • Included in Heritage Overlay
  • Included in HO area indiv sig
  • Included in HO area contributory

Loan applications that are encouraged:

  • Verandah reinstatements;
  • Works to restore physical elements (based on historic evidence);
  • Works that ensure the physical security of significant elements of the place.

Loan applications for the following are discouraged:

  • Works to improve appearance that do not require a planning permit under the heritage overlay;
  • Routine maintenance/works that are considered to be for the general upkeep of any property.

Low Interest Restoration Loans

The City of Ballarat administers a low interest loan scheme which provides funds for the restoration and repair of heritage places in the City of Ballarat. 

The type of works eligible for funding under the loan scheme fall into two categories:

  1. Works that enhance the appearance of the place. eg reconstruction of a front verandah or fence, external repainting in heritage colours (where a planning permit for this is required), restoration of interiors that will be seen by the community. 
  2. Works that repair and maintain the place so that it stays in existence. eg. restumping, rewiring, recladding the roof or walls, chimney repairs and drainage.

How much can you borrow?

There is no set limit to the amount which can be borrowed, however, as demand for funds is high and the amount of money within the restoration fund is limited, loans are generally in the order of $5,000 to $20,000.

All loans will require Council approval and must be secured via a bank guarantee. Applicants are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining a bank guarantee and we strongly suggest that potential applicants contact their bank to identify fees and charges prior to applying for a Heritage Loan.  

What are the interest rates and repayment periods?

Interest rates have been reduced to allow for bank guarantees. Rates are:
0% - Residential
1.5% - Commercial and other non residential

(A default interest rate of 5% is to apply retrospectively to any loans in arrears)

Current repayment periods are:
< $1,000 1 year
$1,000 - $5,000 2 years
$5,000 - $20,000 4 years
> $20,000 By negotiation

How do you make an application?

Applications are open all year.  A series of assessments will be undertaken before a loan application can be approved.  The applications will be assessed internally before being considered by the Management Subcommittee.  The Management Subcommittee will make recommendations to the Ballarat Heritage Advisory Committee who will then make a decision whether or not to forward the application to Council for final approval.  This process is expected to take approximately 2-3 months.  Works must not begin prior to loan approval.

What information do I need?

You will need to ask Council’s Building Department and Statutory Planning Department if permits are required as it depends on the type of works you intend doing, the location and heritage status of your property. All required permits must be approved prior to transfer of funds.  Applicants are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining building and planning permits and we strongly suggest that you contact the Building & Statutory Planning Departments at the City of Ballarat to identify the costs involved in obtaining any required permits prior to applying for a Heritage Loan.

Applications should also be supported by:

  • good quality photographs of your property and its streetscape; 
  • Minimum of 2 quotations for the work proposed
    (In the case of loan applications for painting, quotes should be based on an individual paint specification.  Haymes Paint, Ballarat or Conroy's Paint in Skipton St, Ballarat can provide this service); 
  • a brief description of the proposed works and your contact details.

Things to remember, Heritage Restoration Loans:

  • Provide funds for the restoration and repair of heritage places in the City of Ballarat
  • Require Council approval and must be secured via a bank guarantee that is paid for by the applicant.  We strongly suggest that potential applicants contact their bank to identify fees and charges prior to applying for a Heritage Loan
  • Require a series of assessments to be undertaken before a loan application can be approved, including an inspection by a Council Officer
  • Require planning or building approval before release of funds.  We strongly suggest that potential applicants contact Council’s Building & Statutory Planning Departments to identify any permits required and associated costs
  • Requires thorough application information and quotes to be provided
  • Necessitates follow up visits and photographs at 0%, 50% and 100% completion which may be used to promote the Heritage Loans Scheme

Applicants should read the Terms & Conditions, Information Sheet, Flowchart and Heritage Loan Application form


Past GrantsTop of document.

2013/2014 Heritage Grants

Commercial and Not-for-Profit projects

Roma Consulting (Taylor and Stirling), Commercial
22 Sturt Street, Ballarat 
Reinstate 1850s timber balcony to Sturt Street façade.
Total grant: $20,000

Mainbar Pizza, Commercial
22-28 Main Road, Ballarat

Conservation of the original cast iron posts from verandah of 28 Main Rd, Ballarat.
Total grant: $3,500

Buninyong Joint Library Trust, Not-for-Profit
408 Warrenheip Street, Buninyong
Repairs/replacement to damaged timbers and external painting of library.
Total grant: $3,500

Ballarat Tramway Museum, Not-for-Profit
Ballarat Botanical Gardens 
Contribution towards the reconstruction of Ballarat Electric Supply Company of
Victoria (ESCo) Tramcar No. 12
Total grant: $5,000

Residential / Private projects grants

92 Albert St, Sebastopol
Repairs to front masonry fence.
Total grant: $5,000 (Came under budget. Received $1650)

506 Grant Street, Golden Point
Restoration to front façade of original church including finial, fascia, decorative timberwork and exposure of original timber arch windows.
Total grant: $5,000

112 Seymour Street, Soldiers Hill
Replace verandah roof and water goods.
Total grant : $2,500

301 Grant Street, Golden Point
Restoration of brickwork on parapet.
Total grant: $5,000

417 Ligar Street, Soldiers Hill
Contribution towards reinstatement of verandah.
Total grant: $1,500

11 Brawn Avenue, Ballarat
Repoint brickwork.
Total grant: $850

405 Gregory Street, Soldiers Hill
Repair chimneys. Repair/replace 3 windows.
Total grant: $3,150

201 Johns Street, Ballarat East
Reinstate picket fence and gate and remoce concrete verandah floor.
Total grant: $2,000

2012/2013 Heritage Grants

Commercial and Not-for-Profit projects

Old Colonists Association, Not-for-Profit
Replace timber flooring and joists in Heritage Verandah erected in 1901.
Total grant: $15,000

Regent Hotel, Commercial
201 Mair Street, Ballarat
Re-instate two-storey verandah as per original and contribution towards cost of moving traffic signals lanterns to enable construction (costing owner $80,000).
Total grant: $20,000

Residential / Private project grants

197 Albert Street, Sebastopol
Re-pointing of the basalt block back to its original state.
Total grant: $3,000

122 Victoria Street, Ballarat East 
Remove aluminium cladding, replace aluminium windows and reinstate all period 
Total grant: $3,000

329 High Street, Learmonth
Conservation works to old police cells and stables.
Total grant: $3,000

406 Windemere Street South, Ballarat Central
Reinstate wooden deck / verandah, fret work, timber and wire fence / gates.
Total grant: $2,500

19 Nightingale Street, Newington
New windows, repair brickwork, replace front fence.
Total grant: $2,500

434 Creswick Road, Ballarat Central
Dismantle and relay brickwork. Improve underfloor ventilation. Replace timber 
veranda decking.
Total grant: $2,000

611 Lydiard Street North, Soldiers Hill
Conservation works to repair windows and gable fascia weather boards.
Total grant: $2,000

316 Ligar Street, Soldiers Hill
Repair cracked brickwork, apply appropriate braces, re-render and paint.
Total grant: $1,000

848 Tait St, Bonshaw
Roof iron replacement/repair.
Total grant: $1,000


2010-2011 Heritage Grants

Commercial project grants

Masons Café, Commercial
32 Drummond Street, Ballarat 
Slate roofing replacement.  Urgent works.
Total grant: $20,000

White’s Ballarat Florist, Commercial
2 Sturt Street, Ballarat
Re-painting of façade.
Total grant: $5,000

Far East Rug Company, Commercial 
9 Grenville Street 
Painting, repairs to original windows in lantern, replacement of roof (top section of lantern)
Total grant: $15,000


Residential / Private project grants

66a Victoria Street
Facade reconstruction (verandah, windows, etc).  Heritage fabric: timber.
Total grant: $2,620 

108 Dawson Street South
Façade elements reconstruction.  Heritage fabric: masonry.
Total grant:  $5,000

206 Macarthur Street
Repair and make safe original masonry work.
Total grant:  $1,880

112 Grant Street
Remove concrete verandah floor, reconstruct decking.
Total grant: $2,000

341 High Street, Learmonth
Conservation, stabilisation, restoration, supplement deteriorated elements.  Heritage fabric: corrugated iron and timber frame repairs.
Total grant: $5,000

211 High St Learmonth
Reinstatement of original features, restoration.  Heritage fabric: timber.
Total grant: $1,000

1 Seymour Crescent
Roof replacement & chimney re-pointing.
Total grant: $2,500

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