Convent funding denied

Abbotsford Convent

The preservation of century-old buildings at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne is at risk after a request for council funding was denied, The Age reports.

The Abbotsford Convent Foundation asked Yarra Council to allocate $1 million of funding across five years to assist with the restoration of 40 per cent of the heritage-listed site's ageing buildings.

The foundation asked for $200,000 per year for the project, but its request was denied.

The foundation receives no financial support from any tier of government to run the facility, which houses more than 100 artist studios, small businesses, eateries, and galleries.

The foundation's Chief Executive, Maggie Maguire, said 50 per cent of the site's buildings had been restored during the past decade, but there were concerns the longer the remaining buildings were left, the more costly and difficult they would be to preserve.

'The convent has survived 10 years without government funding," she said. "Whenever we've wanted to do restoration, we've had generous support from philanthropists, but now they feel there should be Government support as well.'

Ms Maguire said the foundation had submitted funding requests for $4 million to the Federal Government and $14 million to the State Government to assist with its restoration works. She said that while a generous $2 million philanthropic donation had been pledged for the project, it was disappointing not to have Yarra council's support.

'The two tiers of government would look more favourably on the project if it was being supported by the local government,' she said.


Abbotsford convent fails to get council funds for upgrades (The Age)


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