Heritage Works Program

Heritage Works revitalises vacant and underutilised publicly-owned heritage places through conservation, adaptive reuse and transitioning places to new ownership.

The Heritage Council’s Heritage Works program aims to secure the best possible financial returns through the sale or lease of heritage places, as well as the best possible long-term adaptive reuse outcomes. This is achieved in collaboration with State Government agencies and local governments. The program has a dual heritage conservation and commercial focus

About Heritage works

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How the Heritage Council’s Heritage Works program benefits our heritage places.


Adapting heritage buildings requires specialised skills and a singular business focus to deal with the sometimes complex issues associated with their development.

The capital for Heritage Works projects is drawn from the Heritage Revolving Fund, a long-term secure fund to manage the proceeds of heritage asset sales and/or leases. With the first projects assisted by Heritage Works now complete, the fund has become self-sufficient.

The Heritage Works program aims to:

  • develop viable options for adapting disused heritage properties
  • maximise financial returns for properties being disposed of by State Government agencies and local governments
  • promote and attract private investment in heritage projects
  • ensure heritage places have a viable productive use so that they are conserved and well-maintained into the future
  • revitalise disused properties so they contribute to the social and economic well-being of our communities.


Heritage Works provides the following services:

  • feasibility analysis
  • conservation planning and specification
  • conservation works
  • financial support where required
  • project management
  • government heritage property disposal process support
  • marketing and sales support.

Heritage Works also assists in financing property disposal projects by underwriting the cost of a disposal project, including feasibility analysis, conservation planning, pre-sale conservation, repair or decontamination works where required, marketing and real estate services. The costs are recouped from the proceeds of sale.

View useful publications

Ascot Kilns and Chimneys

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Planning, design and conservation works to Australia’s largest cluster of circular kilns and associated chimneys.

The former Bristile Kilns site reflects an important part of Western Australia's rich industrial past and hosts the largest group of circular ‘beehive’ kilns and associated chimneys still standing in Australia today.

The place has a long history dating back to the early 20th century, with Pitman, Piercy & Co establishing the State's first specialised pottery works there, before it evolved into the local manufacturing site for Bristile. The kilns produced clay pipes for the construction of sewerage, drainage and stormwater systems, and terracotta roofing tiles in the later years of operations that characterise many of Perth's inter-war suburbs.  

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is overseeing a comprehensive program of planning, design and works to conserve the kilns and chimneys, following a significant State Government investment of up to $6million. Estimated for completion in mid-2023, the project will ultimately ensure that the heritage assets are protected and enable longer term planning to reinvigorate the entire precinct.

Ascot Kilns and Chimney Conservation Works

Community update – September 2021

The kilns and chimneys have withstood a stormy Perth winter, with no damage reported. 
Fortunately, the bulk of geotechnical investigations were completed before the heavy rains set in. 

What’s been happening since June?

  • Findings from the extensive engineering investigations undertaken so far reveal the kilns and stacks to be in fair condition given their age. These reports will assist with determining the safest and most effective remediation techniques.
  • The project team are working closely with specialist contractors who will prepare engineering, electrical and hydraulic documentation.
  • The condition of the concrete flooring around the kilns has been assessed and options for appropriate fencing and canopy replacement are being considered.
  • A site visit in late August (see photo below) was useful in helping to refine remediation and design approaches for various parts of each structure.

Next steps

  • An archaeological management plan is to be developed.
  • Hocking Heritage + Architecture will prepare architectural drawings for the conservation works – informed by the expert reports referred to above – and seek planning approval. 
  • The plans will also be referred to the Heritage Council for review.

You asked, we answered

Thank you to those who have been in touch with questions about the project, which we have summarised below.

Are the chimney stacks safe?

The chimney stacks have been continually monitored for stability and integrity. Recent investigations revealed expected levels of deterioration, but have not flagged any risk of serious failure or collapse.

How can I register to receive these updates into my inbox?

If you have any questions or feedback, or would like to register to receive this update into your inbox, please email AscotKilns@dplh.wa.gov.au.

Community update – June 2021

In 2020 funding was secured for the planning, design and substantial works required to conserve the heritage-listed kilns, tunnels and chimney stacks at the former Bristile factory site in Ascot. 

Hocking Heritage + Architecture has been appointed as lead consultant for this complex and logistically challenging project.

Focused on addressing structural and safety concerns while maintaining their heritage character, the project will see each structure stabilised and conserved following nationally accepted conservation principles and guidelines. 

The conservation project is due for completion mid-2023.

What does the project entail?

Phase 1 – Structural condition investigations

  • Geotechnical investigations including site surveys and 3-D scanning are undertaken to ascertain the condition of the kilns, tunnels and chimney stacks 
  • Samples of materials are collected for analysis
  • A report is produced – providing updated and in-depth condition analysis – that will help guide the conservation methodology 

Phase 2 – Planning approval and architectural design

  • Hocking Heritage and Architecture will design and document the necessary conservation works for the kilns, chimneys and other structures 
  • Planning approval to be sought

Phase 3 – Preparing for works

  • Tender documentation for building works drawn up
  • Request for tender issued and awarded to suitably qualified and experienced contractor

Phase 4 – Conservation works

  • Works are undertaken by contractor and subcontractors as required

What is the plan for the Ascot Kilns and Chimneys site, once the works are completed?

Funding covers the conservation and stabilisation works and does not extend to any further development of the site. Beyond this, State and local government are working together to develop a plan for the area that, ideally, will sympathetically integrate these heritage assets into any future development.


What does the conservation project involve?

The Ascot Kilns Conservation project involves a staged process of planning, design and works aimed at ensuring the long-term conservation of eight circular ‘beehive’ kilns, five chimneys, and tunnels. 

Given the heritage value of the structures, it is important that the works are undertaken sensitively, under the guidance of experts with substantial relevant experience in heritage conservation. Local firm Hocking Heritage + Architecture has been contracted to assist with delivery of this project.

The first stages of the project involve structural assessment, planning and design – all central to ensuring the project can proceed safely and successfully. Following on from this, the conservation building works will include, but not be limited to:

  • Kiln conservation including repointing of brickwork, and replacement or reassembly of deteriorated brickwork as required.
  • Conservation and structural upgrades to the chimney stacks. 
  • Construction of a new protective roof canopy for the kilns.

How long will the project take to complete?

It is anticipated that the conservation works will be completed by mid-2023.

How much will the project cost?

The project has received funding of $6 million over three financial years as part of the WA Recovery economic stimulus program.

Will Ascot Kilns be open to the public on completion of the works?

No. These essential conservation works are intended to stabilise and prevent further degradation and damage to the heritage assets. The current funding does not extend to development of the site for community purposes. Beyond this, State and local government are committed to working together to develop a plan for the area that will provide opportunities into the future for the community to engage, up close, with these structures and the story of their history. 

What are the benefits of conserving the Ascot Kilns?

The Ascot Kilns conservation project ensures that this distinctive Perth landmark is preserved for the benefit of the community into the future.

The cultural heritage significance of this rare cluster of kilns and chimney stacks was recognised with their entry in the State heritage register in 1992, followed by permanent registration in May 2020. 

How can I find out more?

This page will be updated at key project milestones, or you can get in touch with the project team on 6551 4131 or email marlise.dossin@dplh.wa.gov.au.

The conservation project is expected to generate significant economic activity, including contracting and employment opportunities.

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Warders’ Cottages, Fremantle

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Fremantle’s Warders’ Cottages presented a unique challenge to adapt these 1850s convict-built terraces for contemporary uses.

The State heritage-listed cottages were built more than 165 years ago to house prison warders employed at the Convict Establishment, now known as the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison.

Located in Henderson Street next to the Fremantle Markets, the cottages are a highly visible and important part of Fremantle’s CBD.

The three sets of terrace housing, occupying 3,544 square metres, continued to be used by warders up until the Prison’s closure in 1991. The cottages were then purchased by the Department of Housing for public housing.

In 2011, the Department of Housing determined that the cottages were no longer suitable for its tenants.

The Heritage Council of WA assumed ownership of the cottages in 2015 and commenced conservation of these cottages so they will once again contribute to the vibrancy of central Fremantle.

The State Government has invested $3.3m in the restoration of the cottages which has involved the removal of paint from the external limestone walls, allowing the stone to breathe and dry out. The structural integrity of the cottages has been restored through the overhaul of onsite drainage and the refurbishment of important joinery, door and window frames.

The cottages are suitable for private residential use, but can also be sensitively adapted into small offices or other commercial premises.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (formerly the State Heritage Office) acknowledges the generous support from Smeg Australia, Living Edge and Mossenson Galleries in the quality fit-out and furnishing of the display Warders’ Cottage at 17 Henderson Street, Fremantle.

Warders Cottage
Warders Cottage
Warders Cottage Entry
Warders Cottage Entry

Coogee Hotel and Post Office

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The former Coogee Hotel was built in 1901, in the heady days of the gold boom, as a honeymoon hotel and special events venue.

As an attractive seaside destination, it was close to both Perth and Fremantle and offered a convenient resting point to travels further south.

The hotel and post office are all that remain of a thriving social and retail precinct and destination for visitors, holiday makers and the Coogee community from the 1900s to the 1920s. The precinct comprised a railway station, two racecourses, the popular family beach and the hotel, with the adjacent post office and store built in the 1920s.

For nearly 40 years, the former hotel was run by the Anglican Church, firstly as a children’s holiday camp during the depression years, and later, as a children’s home after World War I until 1968.

The State Heritage Office has invested nearly $500,000 in conservation works, site maintenance and planning. Works have been completed to remove intrusive additions to the hotel and post office buildings, followed by repairs to stonemasonry, verandah and joinery.

The works have reversed previous unsympathetic repairs, and now present the place in sound condition for a new era of active use.

Today, the former Coogee Hotel and Post Office is owned by Main Roads WA, which no longer requires the buildings. 

The conservation works has prepared the former Coogee Hotel and Post Office site to be adapted for a range of commercial or residential uses compatible with its location.

Coogee Hotel Sign
Coogee Hotel Sign
Coogee Hotel Renovations, before and after
Coogee Hotel Renovation

Parry Street Precinct conservation works

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Essential conservation works to early 20th century dwellings within Perth’s Parry Street Heritage Precinct.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has an agreement with the Department of Communities to procure and contract manage conservation works to seven vacant heritage cottages on Parry Street, Perth. 

Parry Street Precinct

The brick and iron Federation style buildings date back to the early 20th century and are part of the Parry Street (Heritage) Precinct, located in the east end of the Perth CBD.

The precinct is recognised on the State Register of Heritage Places for its cultural significance as a rare example of a relatively intact streetscape of late nineteenth century and early to mid-twentieth century buildings. The area reflects the expansion of residential development on the city fringes, driven by the population boom that was generated by the 1890’s gold rush.

Each of the vacant properties will undergo a range of priority, essential works as identified within their conservation management strategies. 


What does the conservation project involve?

The scope of building works will vary from house to house, but will generally include:

  • Urgent structural work, including repairs to verandahs  
  • Reinstatement of missing and deteriorated brickwork, raking out and repointing 
  • Refurbishment of doors, windows, floors and ceilings
  • Removal of termite-damaged timber framing and reinstatement of new framing and cladding
  • Fire separation to party walls and new hydraulic and electrical services

It is anticipated that the conservation works will be completed in the final quarter of 2021.

How much will the project cost?

The project has received funding of $1.3 million as part of the WA Recovery economic stimulus program. 

What are the benefits of these conservation works?

It is important to preserve the heritage aspects of these buildings as they are an integral part of the Parry Street Heritage precinct and contribute to the character and heritage value of the area.

The conservation works will enhance the overall streetscape and boost community safety by reducing opportunities for anti-social behaviour, vandalism, and other undesirable activities in the vicinity.

The project will stimulate the economy by creating local employment and contracting opportunities.

How can I find out more?

For enquiries about the conservation works, you can get in touch with the project team on 6552 4131 or email marlise.dossin@dplh.wa.gov.au.  

Related links

Read the media statement

Page reviewed 22 November 2021