Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund (VHRF), established in 2013 is a Committee of Management providing a program of restoration grants to local government Councils for heritage places in private or public ownership.

The VHRF currently offers grants to restore eligible heritage places from four funds: 

  • Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund (MHRF) 
  • Yarra Heritage Restoration Fund (YHRF) 
  • Ballarat Heritage Restoration Fund (BHRF) 
  • Casey Heritage Restoration Fund (CHRF) 
  • Greater Bendigo Heritage Restoration Fund (GBHRF)
  • Merri-bek Heritage Restoration Fund (M-bHRF)

The funds are overseen by a Committee of Management comprising representatives of the four participating Councils, the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), the Victorian Heritage Council and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). VHRF was formerly known as the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund, which has been successfully operating in Melbourne for the past 25 years, and was developed in 1988. 

The VHRF is administered by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). 

The eligibility criteria for each of the different Council funds vary slightly, but in general, a place must be located within a Heritage Overlay (either individually significant or contributory to a precinct) and the proposed works must relate to restoration/conservation works that are visible from the public realm and are not general maintenance or structural repairs. 

Applications can be made online through the VHRF website are accepted at any time throughout the year, and the Committee sits three times a year to assess these applications. Funding levels are assessed on a case by case basis and are generally up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of works, but as a general rule are rarely over $10,000 even if a project is over $20,000. 

If your property is in the Heritage Overlay in one of the above Council areas and you are interested in applying for a grant, we encourage you to:

Scroll down to see examples of funded projects.

 

Download our Annual Report 2021-22

 

Is your Council interested in being part of the VHRF?

The VHRF is always looking to increase the reach of our service and welcomes new Councils to join the VHRF to administer their restoration/conservation funding grant program.

The VHRF Values: 

  • To be a leader in innovative heritage investment 
  • To facilitate heritage-led investment into historic townships 
  • To ensure best-practice heritage conservation work 

 

Our Structure 

VHRF operations and funds are overseen by a Committee of Management comprising representatives of the participating Councils, Heritage Victoria, the Heritage Council of Victoria, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).  

VHRF is administered by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and their services include secretariat support to VHRF, financial administration of all funds under control, expert assessment and advice on all grant applications, grant administration services and VHRF website maintenance. Administration has been undertaken for VHRF (previously MHRF) by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) since 2010. 

 

Funding Model for Councils 

Each Council provides an annual amount of between $40,000 and $200,000 to put towards grants within their municipality plus a nominal fee towards VHRF administration.  

The administration fee charged starts at a base rate of $10,000 fee for up to $50,000 for grants, $15,000 admin fee for between $50,000 and $120,000 grants funding and $20,000 fee for between $120,000 and $200,000 grants funding. 

What the VHRF Offers

The VHRF provides the following: 

  • The majority of administration costs. 
  • Centralised, streamlined and proven grant administration services including an online application process and a serviced website. 
  • The VHRF would administer two rounds of funding each year including review and reporting on applications, expert heritage advice and site visits.  
  • VHRF administration includes an experienced grants administrator and a heritage architect who assesses all applications. 
  • The service/program for each individual Council can be tailored to their needs ie. Focus on funding restoration works that are seen as a priority or having most impact. Some Councils will be commercial streetscapes, access to heritage places, specialist conservation consultant reports and CMPSs, verandah reinstatement, landmark sites etc. 
  • Involvement by and feedback to Councils can also be tailored to individual needs. 
  • On behalf of Councils, VHRF will seek ongoing funding to subsidise the funding program so it can contribute not only to sustainable ongoing administration but contribution to grant monies into the future. 
  • A position on the VHRF Committee if you are a participating Council in the Fund. 
Find out more

If your Council has interest in establishing a heritage grants program to be managed by the VHRF or would like to transfer management of an existing heritage grants program to the VHRF please contact VHRF Grants Administrator Tony Armstrong at the National Trust on 9656 9870 or e-mail Tony at tony.armstrong@nattrust.com.au 

or 

If you would like to know more about the VHRF you can also contact Tony Armstrong (details above) or visit the VHRF website at www.vhrf.org.au which also includes images of projects completed under the program.

Download our EOI Brochure 

 

Call to action section

Find out more

Visit the Victorian Heritage Restoration Fund website to learn more

VHRF Website

Project Examples

55 Grant Street

This is the end house in a row of five Victorian style brick terrace houses constructed in 1887. The row is substantially intact and demonstrating key features of the Victorian style including bi-chrome brickwork, timber sash windows, hipped roofs, bracketed eaves and rendered chimneys. The funding application for the end terrace was for removal of previous bad mortar repairs and re-pointing of the façade. The previous repairs were unsightly and undertaken with cement rich mortar and much of the original tuckpointing had also been lost. 

In 2021 the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $5,000 towards mortar repairs and re-tuckpointing the façade. The works were completed in 2022 and greatly improve the appearance of the façade in the streetscape and ensure that the brickwork is protected into the future. 

Images: (1) Before funded works (2) After funded works.

417 Ligar Street

This is an impressive Victorian brick residence with an unusual recessed arched entrance. The building is substantially intact and the original verandah, which had been removed has been reinstated previously.  

The proposed works for funding involved restoration of the two chimneys, which are prominent original features of the residence. The chimneys were in poor repair and required some mortar repair work and replacement as the mortar joints were visibly deteriorated and causing bricks to dislodge. A scaffold was required to restore the chimneys, making the project more expensive to undertake. The quotes provided for the chimney restoration works both outlined use of a lime based mortar for the joint repairs/repointing. 

In September 2022, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $3,000 towards restoration of the two front chimneys using a lime based mortar. The works were completed in 2022 and have stabilised the chimneys and improved the appearance of the building as viewed from the street. 

Images: (1-3) Before funded works. (4-6) After funded works.

24 Fergie Street

This is one of a row of single storey attached terrace houses with varying detailing. This terrace is substantially intact and is single fronted with polychrome brickwork in a zig-zag pattern. The tripartite Victorian window is intact to the front as it the lacework to the verandah and brackets under the eaves. 

The application for funding was to reinstate a Victorian style fence to the front of the property. The existing fence dated from the 1960s and was in poor condition and detracting from the appearance of this property as viewed from the street. The design of the replacement fence was based on surviving original fences to similar buildings in the row of terraces and was therefore considered reinstatement of an original feature. 

In November 2020, the VHRF Committee of Management agreed to offer a grant of $5,000 towards the reinstatement of a Victorian iron palisade fence. The reinstatement of the original fence, completed in 2021, greatly improves the contribution this property makes to the heritage streetscape and returns an important part of the property to its earlier appearance. 

Images: (1) Before funded works, (2) After funded works.

Call to action section

VHRF Funded Projects

Visit the website to see further project supported by the VHRF

See projects