17 August 2021

Yass council funds heritage sites

| Sally Hopman
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Old stone building

Binalong’s 1915 Mechanic’s Institute will receive $2500 for a new timber floor under the heritage grants program. Photo: Supplied.

Heritage sites ranging from Binalong’s Mechanic’s Institute to St Mark’s Church, Gundaroo, have received funding under Yass Valley Council’s Local Heritage Grants program.

The nine projects will receive a total of $19,000 in funding in the 2021-22 program which the council coordinates with the assistance of Heritage NSW.

Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey said the grants program was designed to contribute to the preservation of structures of historical value and to foster positive attitudes towards heritage and conservation.

“It was great to see a variety of applicants from across the local government area apply for the 2021/22 Local Heritage Grants Program,” she said.

“It’s important we preserve our history for future generations and the Local Heritage Grants Program is a way for council to provide financial assistance to community groups who value and are passionate about maintaining local structures of historical significance.

“Council’s financial support will breathe life into a wide range of projects this year, from a new timber floor on the stage inside the 1915 Binalong Mechanic’s Institute, to restoring the balustrade at Gundaroo’s 1880 Caledonia Store and fixing the roof on St James Church in Bowning, which was built in 1878.”

All the sites have some kind of historic significance to the Yass Valley. Cooma Cottage was the former home of famous explorer Hamilton Hume and is regularly open to the public by the National Trust while The Caledonia Store at Gundaroo was built in 1880 by one of the village’s most celebrated locals, William Affleck.

house and cart

Cooma Cottage, Yass, has been granted $1500 under the heritage funding program. The cottage, one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions, was the home of explorer Hamilton Hume. Photo: National Trust of Australia.

This year’s recipients include: Binalong Mechanic’s Institute ($2500), Cooma Cottage, Yass ($1500), The Caledonia Store, Gundaroo ($2075), Binalong General Store ($3000), Darcyville, Yass ($2000), Bowning Hall ($3300), St James Church, Bowning ($625), St Mark’s Church, Gundaroo ($2000), Former Parsonage, Yass ($2000).

Roof of old country store.

Heritage grant funding will pay for repairs to the roof of the Binalong General Store. Photo: Timothy Wild.

Binalong General Store owners Timothy Wild and Hon Hooi Lim, said the funding received would be put to good use by replacing the leaking roof with materials that will maintain the original look and feel of the building.

The Binalong General Store façade, as we see it today, was built in 1909 and has welcomed many locals and tourists for coffee or lunch over the years.

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“It’s our intention to fully restore the general store inside and out and hopefully add another 100-plus years to its existence,” Mr Wild said.

“We are very grateful for the funding. Once renovated, we hope to encourage and promote local produce to be sold within the store.”

Ms Abbey thanked everyone who applied for grants this year and encouraged unsuccessful applicants to try again next year.

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