Scot MacDonald
27th Aug 2018

The Commercial Hotel in Branxton is a successful recipient of a $97,740 Heritage Near Me Activation Grant from the NSW Liberal National Government, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC announced today.

The grant will enable the adaptive reuse, upgrade and repair of the Commercial Hotel in order to allow it to become a vibrant emporium of accessible spaces. This 1929 coal fields hotel will live a new life through its heritage business hub, accommodation, cafe, museum, gallery display and community space.

The project is one of 33 projects across NSW that will share $2.67 million in grants to provide for the upgrade, expansion, restoration or conservation of locally listed heritage items in towns and suburbs across NSW.

Touring the Commercial Hotel on Sunday afternoon with owners David and Kim Barnes, and Cessnock City Councillor John Fagg, Mr MacDonald said the Heritage Near Me Activation Grants target heritage items that are accessible to the public.

“I’m pleased to be able to support the crucial role played by heritage owners and managers, and congratulate David and Kim Barnes on their innovation in bringing our local heritage to life,” Mr MacDonald said.

“By encouraging the community to use and enjoy our heritage places we ensure they are valued and protected for future generations.”

"We would like to thank the Department of Heritage for providing the financial support that will enable this historic building to be reopened to the public,” Mr and Mrs Barnes said.

“We would also like to thank the community for all the support and encouragement they have given us along the way.”

“With renewed enthusiasm from the Branxton people and the Branxton & Greta Business Chamber, along with many new housing developments coming into the area, this is a rapidly changing area,” Mr Fagg said.

“This is a great project to show to all residents and visitors alike that we have a proud heritage in caring hands.”

“The Branxton Heritage Walk will be further enhanced, as we also welcome new visitors to our overnight RV park. These are great examples of working together providing more prosperity for businesses and the community.” 

To read more about the Heritage Near Me program go to