Roof restoration will last into the future

Shane Budge is looking forward to work getting underway on the roof.
Shane Budge is looking forward to work getting underway on the roof.

Locals and visitors alike may be worried when they see no roof over the Japanese Garden's Cultural Centre and Cafe in the coming weeks, however garden manager Shane Budge says it will be business as usual.

Work will begin next week on a complete replacement of the roof's wood shingles to a traditional Japanese clay tile, thanks to a $307,442 grant through the federal government's Building Better Regions Fund.

Mr Budge said the new tiles would match the garden's Edo period style and improve the look of the garden for years to come.

"I'm extremely excited the presentation of the garden and building will be improved substantially and the best part is the tiles will last well in excess of 100 years," he said.

"Part of this roof has already been replaced once, so to go from a timber shingle that has a 20-30 year lifespan to a clay tile that will last well beyond my lifetime, will be good for the garden.

"I was shown a tile that the suppliers took off a school which had been in place for 80 years and it looked almost new," he said.

Mr Budge said while the work should take three weeks to complete he wasn't envisaging any closures to the garden or cultural centre.

"The cafe, garden and gift shop will all be trading as normal," he said.

"There will be times when we need to make some arrangements for for entry and exit depending on where the work is around the building and there may be a few days where the outdoor eating area is impacted on.

"Though we expect the disruptions to be minimal," he said.

Mr Budge said the tile's Japanese suppliers were excited to take part in the project and support a significant cultural landmark.

"There has already been press coverage in Japan relating to the supply of the tiles which gets the name of Cowra out there and promotes Cowra in Japan," he said.

"The beauty of importing the tiles from Japan is the suppliers came and said 'here's an option A and B but there's also option C which would suite the Edo period better' and explained how it relates to the period and the social hierarchy at the time.

"We have, where possible, sourced materials and tradesmen locally but due to the size of the project and the nature it wasn't possible to keep it completely local."

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