Council secures grants for three Hawkesbury heritage projects

COUNCIL has received grants totalling $300,000 for heritage projects in the Hawkesbury.

Three projects will be funded by the Heritage Near Me grants from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

HISTORIC: Ebenezer Church is the oldest existing church in Australia. Grant money will help Council conserve Hawkesbury's cemeteries.

HISTORIC: Ebenezer Church is the oldest existing church in Australia. Grant money will help Council conserve Hawkesbury's cemeteries.

Two projects will provide opportunities for the community to get involved, and the third will involve privately-owned sites.

Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett said heritage was a big part of the Hawkesbury’s identity, and something Council wanted to promote for tourists and locals to enjoy.

“Some of the most interesting heritage listed private and commercial properties in Australia are right here in the Hawkesbury and they are part of our national heritage,” she said.

The first grant will fund a heritage study of the area, which will ask locals to help identify the most important heritage and conservation areas to be prioritised for future management.

These assets will be listed on the Heritage of Western Sydney group’s Heritage App, and also form part of a brand new Hawkesbury Heritage Festival which will be launched to coincide with the Heritage Near Me Road Show in April 2019. Information from the study will also help develop a pilot Heritage Education and Skills Centre in the Hawkesbury.

The second grant will allow Council to project-manage remediation works on 25 privately-owned heritage properties in the Hawkesbury. The works will not be funded by the grant received by Council, but by separate grants distributed to the property-owners. Once the property works are complete, the properties will form part of the collateral for both the heritage festival and education centre.

Councillor Peter Reynolds, Hawkesbury Mayor Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett, Councillor Danielle Wheeler, Helen Mackay, Abigail Ball, Graham Edds, Venecia Wilson and Michelle Nichols at historic Thompson Square. Picture: Supplied

Councillor Peter Reynolds, Hawkesbury Mayor Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett, Councillor Danielle Wheeler, Helen Mackay, Abigail Ball, Graham Edds, Venecia Wilson and Michelle Nichols at historic Thompson Square. Picture: Supplied

The final grant delivered to Council involves conservation of Hawkesbury’s historic cemeteries, and will create an opportunity for the community to get involved in the management, research and conservation of the sites.

Council will create two-day skills workshops and training programs for volunteers who want to help-out at the cemeteries, during which they will learn researching, recording and conservation skills.

Community members will also be able to get involved in trades training in stone conservation, developing a management plan for conserving the cemeteries, developing signage to promote each cemetery site and educate visitors, and researching the cemeteries to help develop a heritage walking trail.

Find out more about Hawkesbury’s heritage sites at www.discoverthehawkesbury.com.au/heritage.

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