Heritage advice

Heritage grants

Local Heritage Fund

Owners or managers of heritage listed properties and properties in a heritage conservation area may be eligible for up to $2,000 financial assistance from Council’s Local Heritage Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to owners or managers of heritage items for conservation projects, maintenance works or Building Code upgrades.

Projects which can be funded include:

  • conservation projects;
  • maintenance works;
  • adaptive re-use projects;
  • interpretive projects; and
  • conservation management plans.

A full list of what can be funded is provided in the Local Heritage Fund Guidelines

Local Heritage Fund guidelines

The fund will be administered in accordance with the Council’s Local Heritage Fund Guidelines. These guidelines outline the type of projects that can be funded, who can apply and how funds are to be matched.


Closing date

Applications for funding close on Wednesday 4 October 2023. A completed application form and supporting documents must be received by 5pm Wednesday 4 October 2023


Completed application forms and supporting documents are to be sent to:

Email: council@cessnock.nsw.gov.au
Post: Cessnock City Council, PO Box 152, Cessnock NSW 2325

Funding requirements

Requirements of funding are:

  • Applicants are required to match the fund on the basis of dollar for dollar
  • Seniors (over 65s) pensioners and self-funded retirees aren’t required to match funding provided under this program
  • Projects need to be completed by the 5 March 2024 in order to claim the grant.

For all successful grant applicants, works must be completed and a final report provided to Council by 5 March 2024. Prior to completion, regular updates are to be submitted as milestones are reached (emails are sufficient).The final report will provide a record of the work undertaken, expenditure and photographs (before/after). If updates or the final report are not provided, funding may be withdrawn.

If you require further information, please contact Council's Strategic Planning team on (02) 4993 4183.

World Heritage Area

A significant part of the Cessnock local government area (LGA) is included within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The Australian Government has to ensure that Australia's world heritage properties are managed to protect their natural and cultural values. 

Our region has over 200 heritage items. They are diverse and reflect our history and culture. They’ve been listed for three main reasons, including:

  • protecting their significance through regulatory control
  • promoting their long term conservation
  • providing incentives for their survival, occupation and use

They range from buildings, sandstone kerb and guttering, cemeteries, memorials, and sites associated with local coalfields.

Heritage items are listed as being of either State or Local Significance. Most of the heritage items in our LGA are of Local Significance.

To check whether your property is a heritage item, search Schedule 5 Environmental Heritage of Council’s Local Environmental Plan 2011. Alternatively, you can purchase a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate which provides information on the planning controls applicable to a parcel of land.

The NSW State Heritage Inventory contains information on why a particular item is heritage listed. The inventory sheets are useful if you need to prepare a development application that affects a heritage item.

Owning a heritage item

In considering whether to approve a change to a heritage item, we consider:

  • the heritage significance of the item
  • how a proposed development affects the heritage significance
  • how negative impacts are to be managed

Discuss your proposal with Council's Duty Officer before you lodge a development application. A Pre-DA meeting may be required to discuss the proposal.

Most types of development that relate to a heritage item or heritage conservation area will need to be approved through the development application process. A Minor Works Approval application(PDF, 392KB) may be accepted depending on the scale and nature of the work. 

Living in a heritage conservation area

Our region is made up of a number of towns and villages that are recognised for their individual character and heritage significance. Our current heritage conservation areas are:

  • Branxton Conservation Area
  • Greta Conservation Area
  • The Great North Road, Sawyers Gully Conservation Area
  • Wollombi Village Conservation Area

Most types of development in a heritage conservation area will need to be approved through a development application process.

To check whether your property is in a heritage conservation area, search Schedule 5 Environmental Heritage of Council’s Local Environmental Plan 2011. Alternatively, you can purchase a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate, which provides information on the planning controls applicable to a parcel of land.  

Heritage advisor

Our Heritage Advisor is able to provide specialist advice to Council and the community on heritage protection and maintenance.

The Heritage Advisor is available on the first Tuesday of each month and can provide advice on:

  • proposed building works to a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area
  • proposed development near a heritage item
  • choice of material for building works on a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area
  • Heritage Impact Statements for proposed building works 

Our heritage advisor can also provide assistance if you’re applying for State Government funding for works to a heritage item you own.

You can make an appointment to see or speak to the heritage advisor by contacting our customer service team. 

Heritage consultants

Specialised Heritage Consultants can assist you in preparing a development application and provide advice on the maintenance of your heritage item. The Office of Environment and Heritage has a directory of Heritage Professionals who offer a range of services.


Where can I find tradespeople that will do restoration work?

The NSW Heritage Branch has compiled a Products & Services Directory to assist people in finding heritage tradespeople and products.

Do I need Development Consent for works to a heritage place or property?

Most types of development on a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area will need to be approved through a development application process.

What is the Burra Charter?

The Burra Charter defines the basic principles and procedures to be followed in the conservation of heritage places.

These principles and procedures can be applied to a monument, a courthouse, a garden, a shell midden, a rock art site, a cottage, a road, a mining or archaeological site, a whole district or a region.

The Burra Charter has been adopted as the standard for best practice in the conservation of heritage places in Australia.

More information:  Australia ICOMOS – International Council on Monuments and Sites