Living Heritage Program – Round 6 successful projects announced
Successful Projects in Round 6 of Heritage Victoria’s Living Heritage Program have been announced
What does a 120-year-old imperial dragon, Puffing Billy and Horsham Town Hall have in common? They have all received a grant through Round 6 of Victoria’s Living Heritage Grants Program!
Round 6 of the Community Grants Stream (2021-22) provides $2.36 million in funding. The grants enable urgent conservation works or studies. Nineteen significant heritage places and objects around Victoria will benefit.
The Dragon Loong
The dragon, Loong, is believed to be the oldest imperial dragon in the world. He is entirely handmade. He has been in Victoria since at least 1901. He paraded at the Melbourne Federation celebration in May that year. He also joined the annual Bendigo Easter Fair Procession until the late 1960s. Loong is now retired due to his age and fragility. Loong last paraded in 2019, when he met the newest Bendigo dragon, Dai Gum Loong.
The Golden Dragon Museum has received a grant of $133,000. The grant will be used to undertake conservation works for Loong and his Pearl and Flame Regalia. The works involve cleaning, consolidation, repairs and stabilisation. This will ensure Loong is stable for public display and occasional future parading.
Puffing Billy - rebuilding of Locomotive 6A
Puffing Billy will also receive a grant of $180,000 for the restoration of one of its locomotives. Puffing Billy is a century-old steam train. It runs on its original narrow-gauge mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook.
The Living Heritage Grant will see major repairs and rebuilding of Locomotive 6A. The grant will fund repairs to the boiler, water tanks, cab and other components. The funding will also replace cracked wheels. Construction and installation of a new timber cow-catcher are also included.
Puffing Billy Railway will document the Locomotive 6A's conservation via video and photography. This will assist in skill development for Puffing Billy Railway staff and volunteers.
Horsham Town Hall
Horsham Town Hall has also received a grant of $200,000. Horsham Rural City Council is also contributing more than $330,000 to the project. The project will replace damaged auditorium floorboards and sub-floor structures.
The building is notable as an intact example of the Art Deco style of the late 1930s. Events held at the auditorium are important economic contributors to the Horsham economy. The grant will enable the auditorium to be used to its full capacity. This will be vital in the local economic recovery from COVID-19.