WHEN Margaret and Robert O'Brien bought The Strand more than two decades ago, it boasted a 70s style arcade and needed a fresh lick of paint.
Before that, the site was the home of the original Post Office Hotel with stables for punters to leave their horse and sulky where the pub now sits.
Its latest iteration has seen the old arcade closed, new signage and a facelift, all with the help of Tamworth Regional Council's (TRC) heritage assistance fund.
The next project is to turn upstairs into a commercial office space, Mr O'Brien said.
"When we got here the building needed a little bit of renovations and it's changed over the years, but in this major renovation we have done we've closed the arcade down and gone back to the original building," he said.
Mrs O'Brien said that without the heritage assistance fund, which opened for new applications on Wednesday, the budget would have been stretched.
"Both of our families are from here and it's lovely to have a part of Tamworth that's in our family," she said.
"By the time we finished this project it was getting quite expensive and blowing out, it's a contribution that helped us financially, it was a help."
Applications will remain open for three months as a building boom has made it more difficult to lock in quotes.
Councillor Juanita Wilson said the fund is there to help people renovate, restore and reuse built heritage.
"We're not only talking about Tamworth here, we're talking about Manilla, Barraba, any of the smaller places," she said.
"If you own a private property with heritage features you really feel should be preserved, then apply.
"There's $44,000 there, we look at all the applications that come in and it is a dollar-for-dollar contribution."
Applications close September 21.
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