Heritage enhancement is on the way for several town-centre buildings after receiving funding from the Whanganui District Council (WDC) Heritage Grant Fund.

Introduced last July, the fund provides financial assistance to private building owners in the town centre for external heritage enhancement work.

Owners of seven buildings have received funding and the first building to have Heritage Grant work completed is 64 Guyton St.

Last week repainting began on the former National Bank building next to Majestic Square, which is listed as a heritage building.


Enhancement work is also under way on Thain's Building at 1 Victoria Ave.

Building owner Bryce Smith said receiving a grant meant heritage work could be completed more quickly and to a higher standard than it would have been otherwise.

"Some of the windows on the ground floor are original from 1908 and some are not," he said.

"We're going to replace windows which don't match the original ones, reinstate the ornate plaster scroll design on the Taupō Quay facade, remove the veranda and paint the ground floor in heritage colours."

Last August the council opposed a demolition request from the previous owners of Thain's Building and its position was validated by an independent commissioner who declined the consent.

WDC principal planner Hamish Lampp said the council worked with building owners to "source original photographs of their building and present options for heritage colour schemes as a starting point for a conversation about the owner's preferences".

Councillor Helen Craig said she would encourage town-centre building owners to get in touch with the council to explore their options.

"With these projects well under way we are now seeing the benefit of having these character buildings restored and beautifully presented."


Applications for the heritage grant can be lodged with the council at any time, with the next round closing at the end of May.

Three rounds of funding will be awarded annually from a total funding pool of $100,000 a year.

Funding applications must be made before work begins and the project must be completed within 12 months of receiving funding approval.

*If you are a town-centre building owner interested in finding out more about the Heritage Grant Fund, contact Leayne Huirua on 06 349 3116 or leayne.huirua@whanganui.govt.nz