Streetscape

Overview

The West Wimmera Streetscape Scheme program is aimed at encouraging building owners and business operators to upgrade the appearance of buildings' facades within the main street localities and to improve accessibility to premises.

The purpose of the West Wimmera Streetscape Scheme program is to beautify the region's local shopping precincts by improving the streetscape and ensuring universal access. Through providing financial assistance the program aims to develop a stronger partnership between Council and building owners and business operators in making overall improvements to the main streets. 

Please refer to the guidelines and frequently asked questions to the right of the page for information on this program.

What’s the grant?

West Wimmera Shire Council Streetscape Program grants building owners and business operator’s funds to upgrade the appearance of buildings in the main street. The program provides grant funding to a maximum of $1,500 (inclusive of GST) per property, on a dollar for dollar basis but not exceeding 50% of the total cost of the approve works. This means for every dollar Council agrees to spend on improvements to the facade of a building, the applicant must contribute an equal or higher value.

Who can apply?

The commercial building owner or the business operator in the main streets of Apsley, Edenhope, Goroke, Harrow and Kaniva. If the business operator does not own the building, they will need the owner to sign the consent section on the application form.

How to apply?

To make an application for West Wimmera Shire Council Streetscape Scheme program funding, you will be required to complete the application form below. If you are not the owner of the building, you will need the owner to sign the consent section on the application form.

You will also need to submit the following supporting information:

  • Two quotes from licensed contractors.

  • Details about the proposed improvements to the shopfront, for example, if re-painting the shopfront you will need to include a paint schedule detailing the name of the colour, brand of paint and a photo or sketch of the building showing where the colour will be applied to the building.

Click here to view form.

What funds are available?

The program provides grants of a maximum of $1,500 (inclusive of GST) per property, on a dollar for dollar basis but not exceeding 50% of the total cost of the approved works.

This means for every dollar council agrees to spend on improvements to the facade of a building, the applicant must contribute an equal or higher value.

For example, if the proposed works cost $3,200, council will contribute a maximum of $1,500 and the applicant will need to contribute $1,700.

Applicants for key landmark buildings or where the proposal includes the upgrading of council owned infrastructure eg. footpaths, street furniture, may be able to negotiate a larger council contribution taking into account the significance of the building to the streetscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many grant applications can I make to council?

Due to the limited funds available for this program, council will only process one grant application per property, however a group of owners or businesses may jointly submit an application for funding.

If you have received funding under this program in the last five years, you will not be able to lodge an application for the West Wimmera Shire Council Streetscape Scheme program.

How will the applications be assessed?

Applications for funding will be assessed against the following criteria and will be awarded until the financial allocation for the program has been exhausted.

The following matters will be assessed in determining if a grant application is successful:

  •  The application is for facade or access improvement works to a retail/ commercial building in a main street.
  • The applicant must be a small business owner or property owner that leases to a small business. A small business is defined as a business employing less than 20 people.
  • The proposed works are consistent with or compliment any approved colour pallet, facade design and/ or streetscape for the area.
  • The proposed works are in keeping with heritage character of the centre (if applicable).
  • The proposed access works are in accordance and compliant with relevant disability legislation and regulations.
  • The application is for eligible works and the applicant has submitted all relevant information with the completed application form.

Council reserves the right to approve or refuse a grant application in terms of the colour, material or method of execution as it considers appropriate.

Prior to commencing the works, applicants must enter into an agreement with Council detailing the agreed schedule of works and grant sum. The applicant must have read and agrees to comply with the terms and conditions applying to the program.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to investigate the requirement of any necessary planning/ building permits through Councils planning/ building department. Costs associated with obtaining building/ planning permits may not be included in the total amount of the grant application.

Eligible works that are successful and require a planning/ building permit will need to submit a planning/ building application for approval prior to receiving funds for works.

How will I know if my application has been successful?

Council will contact you to let you know if your grant application is successful or unsuccessful.

If an application is successful, the applicant will need to enter into an agreement with council before works commence. The agreement will detail:

  • A list of works to be funded by the grant, and

  • The amount of grant funding to be paid when the works have been completed. For a copy of a sample agreement, please refer to council’s website.

How long do I have to complete the works approved for grant funding?

You will have 12 months from the date of the agreement between the applicant and Council, to complete the approved works.

Council wishes to ensure that funds are not tied up with grant applications that have been approved but the works have not been completed. For this reason, if the approved works are not completed within 12 months the funds will be reallocated to other properties.

What works are eligible?

Works that will be eligible for grant funding include:

  • Painting
  • Upgrading of signage structures
  • Works on a building that has received grant funds from this program (or other council grant program) in the past five years
  • Cleaning of brickwork
  • Removal and replacement of cladding and awnings
  • Repair or replacement of wall tiles, facade structures
  • Other facade improvement works subject to Council’s approval
  • Access works to reduce entrance barriers
  • Removal of steps to install an access ramp
  • Installation of handrails to existing ramp entry or additional stepped entry
  • Minor works to make other parts of the existing premises more accessible will be considered.

The type of works that are not eligible for the program are:

  • Works required as part of a development approval conditions of consent

If insufficient information is provided on the application form, Council may seek clarification on the proposed works before making a decision about the grant application.

To assist in making overall streetscape improvements, applicants will be required to remove any illegal signage as part of the facade improvement upgrade.

Can I do the works myself?

No, due to Occupation Health and Safety issues with the works being undertaken at the front of the building, adjacent to a public walkway eg. tripping and ladder hazards, works will need to be completed by a licensed contractor.

Can I claim for works already completed?

No, you cannot lodge a claim for works already completed.

If your application is approved, you will need to enter into an agreement with Council detailing the schedule of works and the agreed grant sum before works can commence.

How do I claim the grant?

To claim the funds the applicant must provide Council with:

  1. Written notification that the works have been completed
  2. A receipt for payment of the works which includes the ABN of the contractor
  3. A tax invoice (including ABN) to Council for the agreed grant sum (inclusive of GST).

Council will inspect the works and only pay the grant funding when the works have been satisfactorily completed in accordance with the agreed schedule of works listed in the Agreement.

What terms and conditions do you and the licensed contractor need to comply with?

An applicant must comply with the following terms and conditions:

  1. The applicant is to submit a completed application form including all supporting information ie. description of proposed works and owner’s consent.
  2. Only one grant application is lodged per property, however a number of business owners may jointly make a combined application.
  3. The applicant must obtain all necessary planning approvals before commencement of the works.
  4. Two quotes from licensed contractors are to be submitted with the application.
  5. Works are to be undertaken by a licensed contractor.
  6. The applicant must agree to provide a minimum of 50% of the cost of the project or higher if 50% of the costs of works exceed Council’s maximum grant contribution of $1,500 (inclusive of GST).
  7. The applicant is to enter into an agreement with Council listing the agreed schedule of works and grant sum (inclusive of GST).
  8. Works should not commence until the applicant has signed the agreement with Council.
  9. Applicants will be required to remove any illegal signage as part of the facade improvements.
  10. Works approved for grant funding are to be completed within 6 months from the date the agreement with Council is signed or grant funds will be reallocated.
  11. Any overrun in costs is not the responsibility of Council and extra funds will not be granted.

OHS Requirements

Works are to be carried out in accordance with the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, the Victorian Electricity Safety Act 1998, the Victorian Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 and other legislation as required

Specifically the applicant, building owner and licensed contractor must:

  • Accord with the Occupational Health and Safety Amendments Regulations 2014, Australian Standards or Codes where they exist.
  • Not obstruct and or hinder movement of persons on footpaths or roadways eg. ladders and scaffolds etc. Traffic management for construction or maintenance work is to be in accordance with the requirements of the Road Management Act 2004 and related Regulations.
  • Should a temporary road or footpath closure be required, a Council application for a temporary road or footpath closure must be completed at least ten days before the work is started.
  • Not allow items such as drop sheets, ladders, trestles etc. to be a trip hazard for passers-by or motorists.
  • Ensure that if any work is required to be done near electrical wiring that this work is completed strictly in accordance with the Victorian Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 the Code of Practice on Electrical Safety for Work on or Near High Voltage Electrical Apparatus (the Blue Book 2012) to prevent electrocution or serious injury.
  • Ensure the structural integrity of any awnings or structures if work is to be conducted on or from those places.
  • Ensure the structural integrity of any ornamental work eg. stone/brick rosettes, figurines etc. prior to beatification work commencing.
  • Ensure when working above ground to inspect roof / awnings or access points for brittle sheets eg. fibreglass etc. to prevent persons falling through.
  • Ensure that any asbestos content of a facade or structure is appropriately handled and managed – reference to WorkSafe Victoria for information on safe handling of asbestos products is essential.
  • Ensure that no asbestos cement surfaces are water blasted to prepare the surfaces for painting.
  • Ensure that proper access and egress is provided to work areas above ground eg. ladders should extend 1 metre above landing point; ladders used at a ratio of 4:1 etc.
  • Do not work within 2 metres of an unprotected edge – if this is not possible then temporary handrails, fences to be erected to prevent falls or if not practicable, harnesses must be used.
  • Arrange to have information sheets available (Material Safety Data Sheets) on chemicals used in beautification works eg. Paint stripper and paints in general. MSDS’s are available from the manufacturer and are generally available on the internet on the manufacturer’s website.