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Historic Structures Fund and Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2020 Announcement
The Minister for Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD, announced that 449 heritage projects across every county in the country will benefit from a combined sum of over €4.3m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF) and Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS).
This funding will support the owners and custodians of historic and protected structures as they carry out hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. The announcement follows the Government’s recent publication of its Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business to ease the Covid-19 restrictions.
“These schemes,” the Minister said, “are being released as we move through phase 2 of reopening our economy. I believe that they have the potential to provide some much-needed economic stimulus right across the country in all local authority areas and will provide employment for the many small businesses, skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople involved in heritage-related construction activity. I hope this will sustain at least some specialist heritage businesses whilst the market recovers.
“We are in unprecedented times. Our communities are facing challenges like never before but have come together and responded to the challenges with resilience, fortitude and no end of kindness. These schemes will play an essential role in helping communities to regenerate the areas where they live and work, and, indeed, to protect our built heritage as part of our generation’s legacy for the future.”
Photo Caption: Grant-awarded in 2019, Pugin Chapel in St Peter’s College, Wexford (Source chg.gov.ie)
The Department confirmed that successful applicants will be advised that all works must be carried out in compliance with physical distancing instructions and other public health measures determined by the Government and the HSE. It will be the project manager’s responsibility to monitor and ensure compliance with the most up to date and accurate information from the Government and the HSE websites.
These supports from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, administered by local authorities, reach into every aspect of Irish life, investing in hundreds of projects in urban and rural areas and providing vital support for local jobs in conservation, traditional skills and construction.
Under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF), 56 projects will be funded, with grants ranging from €15,000 to €130,000 for the conservation and renovation of many different types of historic structures throughout the country. This is in addition to 10 projects that will receive a total of €351,000 in their second year of funding under the HSF 2019.
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) will support 393 projects in 31 local authority areas. Grants ranging from €1,000 to €15,000 will be provided and the scheme will generate several thousand days’ employment for skilled craftspeople.
Also included under the BHIS 2020 is a pilot micro-grant stream to increase the resilience of historic structures to withstand the constant effects of climate change. This will allow local authorities to make smaller awards to owners of historic properties to carry out routine maintenance to offset the impact of climate change on their buildings.
As the phased reopening of our economy continues, it is hoped it will be possible that many of the projects under the two Built Heritage Capital grant schemes can get under way without further delay. These grant schemes have the potential to offer confidence to communities across the country, provide a stimulus to the economy and help to maintain incomes. It will be the responsibility of individual project managers to assess when grant-aided works may commence in line with the public health measures determined by the HSE.
Minister Madigan continued: “I would like to thank the local authorities for their assistance in administering these schemes. I would also like to acknowledge the response of private owners and their willingness to invest their time and money in caring for our built heritage.
“I am delighted to be able to continue investing in our built heritage.”