HISTORIC hotels, homes and churches are set to be spruced up with up to $41,000 in Tamworth Regional Council grants.
Among those is the home of former Wollongong locals Ria McPherson and her husband Phillip.
The couple bought the East Tamworth house last year with plans to relocate for work, knowing full well a home with a heritage facade would come with both opportunities and challenges.
With the help of $4000, the pair will be able to restore the front of their home to its former glory, Mrs McPherson said.
"There's definitely a lot more to it that we are learning about as we go and the council has been fantastic," she said.
"There's a fence at the front that has been slightly damaged due to a big tree, so we are hoping to restore that, fix up the brick work, the bargeboard decorative woodwork and maintain it.
"We only found out about the grant when we were purchasing the property and with the heritage facade we wanted to know more and the council let us know there was this grant.
"We really love it, it's such a cute house."
Councillor Juanita Wilson said she was excited to see the progress at about 10 properties across the region, including the iconic Bendemeer Hotel which was purchased earlier this year by Tamworth couple Leanne and Mark Summers.
But, she said she was disappointed more applications weren't made for rural structures, with so many tobacco drying sheds and shearing sheds deteriorating in the community.
"The restoration and reuse of buildings mainly focuses on facades and streetscapes," she said.
"The reason these grants are given are to provide interest, ownership and responsibility towards our heritage.
"We need to see our heritage precincts, our parks and our buildings, as an integrated component of our current urban design planning."
Cr Wilson said she believes more money needs to be set aside for the heritage assistance grants in future and hopes the incoming council will consider it after the elections.
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