New works to conserve old treasure

Vital works to conserve Castlemaine’s historic Buda House are to begin in coming days after the local attraction earlier secured a $120,000 state Living Heritage Program grant.
Victoria’s planning minister Richard Wynne visited the grand old home and gardens late last week to announce that applications for the next round of Living Heritage Program grant money had opened – and to see what was about to be done with the $120,000 allocated Buda under the previous round.
Buda house curator Lauretta Zilles said the money was about to make a vital difference to efforts to conserve the local treasure.
“Mostly it’s repair of brickwork and render, which is really important to the fabric of the house,” Ms Zilles said.
“Exterior and interior plaster work and repairs. That’s going to be commencing in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s probably 130-year-old brickwork and render that we’re talking about, so in terms of heritage it’s lasted incredibly well but if we don’t intercept it now and actually start fixing it now we will have major problems in the next 10 to 20 years, so this grant has been fantastic.”
Taking a tour of the Buda grounds – and afternoon tea on site – Mr Wynne was joined by Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards, Mount Alexander Shire mayor Cr Christine Henderson and CEO Darren Fuzzard – as well as Buda committee of management members and volunteers.
“This is truly a national asset,” the minister said.
“These sorts of investments are incredibly important because our living heritage is something we have to cherish.
“Yours is a fantastic story of 40 years of dedication.”
Applications under round five of the Living Heritage Program opened yesterday, Monday February 17, with $7 million available over the next three years for at-risk places on the Victorian Heritage Register.

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