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Heritage Fund launches supporting Art Deco infrastructure in Napier

A new heritage fund named after a local Art Deco legend launches this week.

Robert McGregor Art Deco

The fund is named after the Robert McGregor, founding member of Art Deco Trust, the Trust’s first President and its first Executive Director (Photo: Warren Buckland).

The Robert McGregor Heritage Fund launches this week, as part of Art Deco Trust and Napier City Council’s commitment to preserve and restore Art Deco era heritage in Hawke’s Bay. The purpose of this fund is to enable the Trust and Council to provide financial assistance to owners of heritage buildings and in doing so, continue to support the preservation and restoration of this critical element of the Napier story.

The fund is named after Robert McGregor (1940-2015). Robert was a founding member of Art Deco Trust, the Trust’s first President and its first Executive Director (from 1992, when the Trust became a professional organisation). He was a passionate advocate for Napier, Hawke’s Bay and our unique art deco architecture and heritage.

With a significant financial contribution from Art Deco Trust, and with Napier City Council doubling its contribution to building restoration, the fund will be administered by a working group of knowledgeable heritage professionals and enthusiasts who will make recommendations to a committee of Council and Trust representatives.

Art Deco Trust's Shane Gorst: "Heritage building ownership is becoming increasingly more difficult and expensive. The fund is designed to assist these building owners financially, supporting crucial restoration work. Although the fund is starting small, it is the Trust’s intention to significantly grow the pool of funds available in future years through further Trust and Council contributions and public and corporate donations.”

General Manager of Art Deco Trust, Shane Gorst says: “We are delighted to announce the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund, something we have been working on over the last 12 months. Heritage building ownership is becoming increasingly more difficult and expensive in Hawke’s Bay. The fund is designed to assist these building owners financially, supporting crucial restoration work. Although the fund is starting small, it is the Trust’s intention to
significantly grow the pool of funds available in future years through further Trust and Council contributions and public and corporate donations.”

Mr Gorst says investing in the bricks and mortar that make up our unique streetscape ensures the preservation of this critical part of the Hawke’s Bay story for the benefit of current and future generations, and protects the significant economic impact that Art Deco has on Napier. Without this on-going investment, the physical elements of our heritage and the stories that they represent will be eroded over time and eventually lost completely.

Fleur Lincoln, Strategic Planner from Napier City Council, is excited about the establishment of the Heritage Fund, which allows for more important restoration work to be done to protect the Art Deco Quarter.

“The launch of the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund signals Council’s ongoing commitment to care for one of our best and most important city assets - our history. We’re delighted to partner with Art Deco Trust and look forward to seeing a number of our beautiful buildings restored and reinvigorated.”

Art Deco Trust is committed to the celebration, promotion, preservation and restoration of Art Deco Heritage in Hawke's Bay, as the stewards of our region's story, we deliver the largest event in Hawke’s Bay, host almost 20,000 people per year on one of ourtours and countless thousands more at our Art Deco Centre, we see this fund as a crucial stepin ensuring that we continue to deliver across the full scope of our mission for the benefit of the community. 

Applications to the fund open on the 20th November 2017, with the first round of funding expected to be announced in late January 2018. To apply or for further information and the criteria or if you wish to make a donation to the Heritage Fund, either in Robert McGregor’s name or to support the work of the Trust, please see our website www.artdeconapier.com to download the information.

17 November 2017

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