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Heritage Incentives Scheme (HIS)

What is Heritage Incentives Scheme?

Since 1988, the City of Adelaide has provided the most substantial local government heritage grant scheme in Australia, reimbursing owners with part funding for documentation and conservation work of heritage and unlisted historic character places which meet specific criteria.

The Scheme is widely regarded and has attracted much attention from interstate and overseas.

In November 2017, the Scheme won the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) SA award in the Best Planning Ideas – Large Project category. In May 2018, the Scheme was awarded a Commendation at the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) National Awards for Planning Excellence, held in Perth, Western Australia

Since its inception, this multi-award-winning Scheme:

  • has provided over $20m in grants to property owners
  • provides a $1.68 return to the South Australian economy for every $1 invested
  • contributes $395m to the Gross State Product
  • supports 3,000 jobs
  • contributes to the direct heritage tourism expenditure valued at $375 million annually

This consistent commitment to the conservation of heritage and unlisted historic character properties demonstrates the importance Council places on maintaining Adelaide's substantial heritage character and this enormous injection of funding has had a dramatic impact on the character of the city.

Further to the City of Adelaide’s Heritage Incentives Scheme, the Hon David Speirs MP (Minister for Environment and Water) has recently announced a new State Government Heritage Grants Program to help conserve and activate state heritage listed places and areas within South Australia. Find out more at the Department of Environment and Water website.

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Examples of Conservation Projects in the City of Adelaide

Originally, the hotel was located in Elizabeth Street where it was first known as the Crown and Anchor. From 1853, it was renamed the Cumberland.

In 1882, during the boom period in Adelaide, the hotel was rebuilt, to the design of architect H.C. Richardson, at the corner of Waymouth and Elizabeth Streets where it stands today.

A total of $63k funding was provided in 2017 for professional advice & documentation and conservation works to the verandah and the balcony.

Please see the video above where publican John Waltham and architect David Brown, discuss the conservation project in more detail.


For more examples please see:

HIS Case Studies

Demonstration Projects

Contact Details

For more information about the Heritage Incentives Scheme please contact Council’s Heritage Team on (08) 8203 7185, or alternatively send an email to

Quick Links

How to Apply: a Step-by-Step Guide

1. Determine if your intended conservation works or professional advice are eligible for HIS funding.

Read through the HIS information flyer and the associated Operating Guidelines to determine if you might be eligible.

Note: Most works to a heritage listed property require development approval, regardless of whether funding is sought. This is a separate application form which will need to be submitted – See Step 4 for more information.


2. Contact us to discuss the scope of works and to arrange a free initial on-site meeting with a heritage architect.

Ph: 08 8203 7185

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


3. Obtain written quotes based on advice given during site visit and associated correspondence.

Multiple quotes should be sourced by applicant and a total of three (3) quotes should be submitted with the HIS application form - Exceptions may apply – please contact us to discuss any issues sourcing quotes with a heritage architect.


4. If required, lodge a Development Application Form* for the conservation works with supporting documentation.

*This is a separate Application Form. For more information click here or phone Duty Planner on: 08 8203 7185 

Note: This step is NOT required if:

  • Applying for funding under HIS category 1 only (Professional Advice & Documentation). 
  • Development approval has already been obtained for the works and is considered valid.


5. Lodge a HIS application with all supporting documentation

The HIS Application can be lodged simultaneously with a Development Application, but Development Approval must be obtained before HIS Application can be approved. You can lodge both types of application forms by going to our online lodgement portal.

Lodge an Application

Note: All applications must now be lodged online. If you have any questions or issues with the process, please contact us.


6. Applications are assessed by Council

HIS applications are assessed against our Guidelines. There is no guarantee of funding.

HIS Assessment Criteria (PDF)


7. Once HIS application has been approved, a funding allocation will be made

Once both HIS and DA approvals have been obtained, an allocation will be made. Applicants are notified by email of their allocation amount and conditions of funding and a HIS project sign will be sent to be displayed during works. You must notify the us when works commence and at key milestones if required as part of the HIS approval.


8. Completion of Works & Proof of Payment

Upon completion of work, you must notify us and arrange a final site inspection/review of documentation to ensure completed works/advice meets the conditions of the approved HIS application. You will also need to provide us with proof of payment to the relevant contractor. The type of proof we require is detailed in the allocation email received at approval. 


9. Reimbursement

Once satisfied with the work/advice and submitted proof of payment, Council will reimburse as per details set out in allocation email and in accordance with the HIS operating guidelines. Reimbursement can be via EFT or by cheque. You will need to provide appropriate bank details if EFT is desired.

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