Applying for the Built Heritage Incentive Fund

Information to help you submit an accurate and complete Built Heritage Incentive Fund application.

Are you eligible?
Before you apply
The application process

Eligibility criteria

Your project must meet all the following criteria:

  1. The application relates to a heritage-listed building, or a building identified as contributing to a listed heritage area. See Chapter 21: Heritage List (684KB PDF).
  2. The applicant is the owner or part-owner of the heritage building. This includes private owners, body corporates, charitable trusts or church organisations. The following are ineligible: the Crown, state sector organisations, overseas state agencies, district health boards, community boards, Council-controlled organisations and Council business units
  3. The planned work must aim to physically improve the building’s structural integrity, public access, safety and/or heritage values.
  4. The works applied for must not have started prior to the Council Committee decision on the application. See the Funding calendar.  
  5. Funding will be directed towards buildings where successful heritage and seismic strengthening outcomes will be unlikely without assistance. As such:
    • grants will be directed towards buildings that are owned by individuals, body corporates, community groups or small to medium sized companies
    • applications from limited companies must identify if they are affiliated with larger commercial entities
    • all applicants must demonstrate that they do not have excess unallocated reserve funds.
  6. The application must demonstrate that the work will conserve and/or enhance the building’s heritage significance. As such, input from a recognised conservation architect is:
    • required for all work that impacts the building’s heritage elements (such as large-scale restoration works and invasive testing and construction works for seismic strengthening)
    • optional for all other work (such as repair and maintenance, small-scale restoration and detailed seismic design or non-invasive seismic investigations)
  7. The owner of the property must show that the full costs of the project can be met.
  8. The application does not relate to a building or part of a building that has incomplete allocations from a previous Built Heritage Incentive Fund grant.

Before you apply

Discuss your project with someone from our Heritage team, who can help you submit a complete robust application that meets all the requirements.

We can help you understand the criteria and process for your project - for example, when to break a larger project into smaller phases and apply for each phase, or when you may need a conservation architect. Email or phone (04) 499 4444.

The application process

How to apply

  1. You will need to:
    • Show evidence of your financial position and that you can meet the full project costs. This can include financial documents such as audited accounts, bank statements and lending or financing agreements. For applications by companies affiliated with larger commercial entities, the financial documents of all affiliated companies must be included with the funding application.
    • If an application is from a body corporate or a trust, we need evidence that all relevant members approve of the project. If the application is made on behalf of the owner(s), a letter of agreement needs to be provided by the owner(s) with the application.
    • One recent (within three months from fund closing date) quote or estimate for each type of work from a registered builder or recognised professional that relates directly to your application. For quotes or estimates relating to a larger project, or including work not relating to heritage conservation, the quote must identify the heritage component cost.
    • A recent photo of the building façade and photos of areas your project affects. This is not essential if you are applying for a conservation report
    • Heritage impact statements may be required on a case-by-case basis depending on the complexity and scale of the project and/or if there may be a significant impact on heritage values
    • For larger projects, we need fully-scaled plans so we can understand the proposed works. These need to be submitted as flat pdfs of less than 5MB.
  2. Register on the online funding portal.
  3. Start drafting your funding application, adding information and attachments. Remember to save your application as you go.
  4. Submit the completed application, including attachments of all required documents, before midnight of the application closing date. You will receive an email confirmation.

If you have any questions about this process, contact, or phone (04) 803 8562.

How we assess BHIF applications and allocate funding

Committee decision

  1. The Heritage or Funding Team may ask you for more information when they assess fund applications. We aim to complete all assessments within one to two weeks of the fund closing date.
  2. We finalise recommendations and they go to the Grants Subcommittee.
  3. The Committee meets and decides the results approximately four to six weeks after the fund closing date.

We advise you of the Committee's decision

You will receive an email with the final decision within a week of the Committee meeting. If you have been allocated funding, you are asked to log back into the funding portal to read the terms and conditions. You accept the funding by agreeing to the terms.

You need to complete the funding agreement within 14 days of receiving the email, or contact the Funding Team to discuss your situation.

Start your project

If your project changes you must email detailing the changes, and attach an updated budget with quotes if applicable. We will review the funding allocation and may change the amount payable. If we don’t receive this information, we may not be able to pay out at all.

Complete your accountability report

Your project should be completed within 18 months of the Committee meeting. When completed, log into the funding portal to complete your accountability report.

Attach invoices and receipts that match the budgeted quotes or estimates in your application or, if applicable, the agreed changes.

We will be in touch if we have any questions.

Funding is paid

We pay the agreed amount into your bank account once we’ve:

  • checked the work is completed as described in your application
  • checked that the costs are equal to the quotes or estimates you sent with your application
  • agree that all general and specific conditions have been met.

Payment takes at least one week to process.

If on completion of the project the invoiced amounts are significantly different from the original estimated costs, or relate to work that was not applied for, Council will revise your payment accordingly. The original allocation amount will not be exceeded.