The Oamaru Licensing Trust has submitted a 100-page expression of interest to the government's $3bn Provincial Growth Fund.

The proposed grant would be used to help restore the façade of the Brydone Hotel, helping to create more employment opportunities in the North Otago town. The figure has not been disclosed, but OLT general manager Cathy Maaka described it as "a substantial amount."

The OLT has owned the hotel, a category-2 heritage-listed building, since 1961 when the trust was founded. Currently, 80 staff are employed at the 49-room hotel, which includes a bar, restaurant, and conference facilities.

An expression of interest for the PGF allows potential proposals to be tested for eligibility, and applicants are given feedback before submitting their final application.

Formerly known as the Queen's Hotel, the Brydone was designed by Thomas Forrester and John Lemon.