Today, I am announcing the opening of calls to the 2022 Community Monuments Fund. The €5 million allocation is an increase of 20% on 2021 funding and more than a threefold increase since 2020 when the fund was established.
The grants available under the Community Monuments Fund help custodians and owners of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of local communities and the visiting public. In addition, they provide support for heritage professions and job opportunities in archaeology, building conservation and traditional skills.
The Community Monuments Fund was first established as part of the 2020 July Jobs Stimulus in response to the COVID emergency. In 2020 and 2021, some 200 heritage projects were funded to the value of €5.35 million. It is anticipated that the 2022 programme being run by the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage’s National Monuments Service will support more than 160 projects.
The core aims of the Community Monuments Fund are the conservation, maintenance, protection, and promotion of archaeological monuments. Funding is available for:
- conservation works to monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support;
- building resilience into monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change;
- works to improve access to and presentation of, monuments.
It is available in three streams.
Stream 1 supports essential repairs and capital conservation works at archaeological monuments. Stream 2 funds the development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports which will identify necessary conservation measures and any issues requiring future attention. Stream 3 offers grants for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments, including development of online interpretative material.
The Community Monuments Fund has been a resounding success since we established it in 2020. The objective has been to support the heritage sector and provide an effective way of assisting Local Authorities and custodians in protecting Ireland’s remarkable yet vulnerable archaeological heritage.
The Fund supports an extraordinary level of community engagement and public participation in heritage. It provides traditional skills opportunities and strengthens the role of heritage in communities across the country, highlighting this important role in providing a strong sense of place and well-being.
We are very pleased to be in a position to grow the fund by a very significant amount this year. We hope to support over 160 projects, which will provide a local economic boost with thousands of hours of employment for craft workers, conservation architects, surveyors and engineers, archaeologists, and others in sustainable job opportunities in the care of our heritage.
This increased investment will help to ensure that our archaeological heritage across the nation continues to enrich all of our lives.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 March 2022. Further info: gov.ie - Community Monuments Fund 2022 - Call for Projects (www.gov.ie)