Restoring Ballarat’s Heritage And Supporting Those In Need

12 April 2017

The Andrews Labor Government will restore the Reid’s Coffee Palace building in Ballarat, which now offers low-income housing for those most in need.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today joined Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight to announce a $700,000 Living Heritage grant for conservation works and other upgrades to the iconic building.

One of Ballarat’s oldest and most treasured buildings, Reid’s Coffee Palace now operates as Reid’s Guest House.

It’s run by Uniting Care and provides safe and secure accommodation for up to 60 vulnerable and disadvantaged locals every night.

Reid’s Coffee Palace was built in 1886 as one of several businesses owned by immigrant John Reid, who also ran the New York Bakery and the Provincial Hotel.

Reid arrived in Ballarat from Germany via New York. His baking skills helped feed hordes of hungry goldfields miners.

The building has retained its stunning façade, but is in a state of deterioration with varying degrees of damage to the highly decorative parapet and veranda.

The $700,000 Labor Government grant will cover essential conservation works, as well as a reconfiguration of internal spaces and restoration of the building’s prized decorative finishes.

The $30 million Living Heritage Grants Program is the biggest boost to heritage assets in Victorian history, funding the repair and restoration of iconic venues all over the state including Ned Kelly’s House at Beveridge and the Polly Woodside in Melbourne.

The project is being delivered in partnership with the City of Ballarat.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Heritage sites like these aren’t just bricks and mortar, they’re our very identity. Reid’s Coffee Palace has a proud past, and now we’re giving Reid’s Guest House an equally secure future.”

“Ballarat’s history speaks for itself and Reid’s Coffee Palace plays an integral part. It would have done a roaring trade at the height of the Gold Rush.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight

“Reid’s Guest House provides warm and welcoming accommodation for Ballarat locals and vulnerable Victorians from surrounding districts who need it most.”

“This building means so much to so many Ballarat locals. It’s a striking reminder of our significant history, and a key pillar of the care and support we give vulnerable members of the community.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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