I was delighted to announce today that 95 heritage projects around Ireland will benefit from a total of €4.5m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF), with almost €300,000 awarded to projects in Carlow Kilkenny. This includes two landmark buildings in Carlow, with Tullow Courthouse set to receive €93,000 and Carlow County Library in line for €120,000. There's been a further €40,000 allocated to Sherwood Park House in Ballon, along with €37,000 for The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Freshford, Kilkenny.
The €4.5 million funding announced today follows on from the €4.5 million Built Heritage Investment Scheme awards announced earlier this month, bringing this government’s support for built heritage and historic structures to a total of €9 million this year. This underlines our continued commitment to protect and preserve our built environment in line with the goals I set out in Heritage Ireland 2030 – the new national heritage plan I launched last year.
It's really wonderful to see two significant historical buildings in Carlow recognised, with Tullow Courthouse set to undertake roofing and joinery work, along with specialist cleaning of some of its wonderful granite details. It’s through this kind of investment that we can truly celebrate the value and diversity of Ireland’s built heritage today, while protecting it for future generations.
What’s really important about this funding is that it won’t just support the owners and custodians of some of Ireland’s finest historic or protected buildings to repair and protect these properties - it also gives a welcome boost to local heritage and construction trades, including really specialist skills like thatching and stone work.
If we want to protect our built heritage into the future, we need to ensure we’re maintaining the skills needed to do it, and my Department estimates that the awards being announced today will facilitate over €8 million worth of skilled repair and restoration work and fund in excess of 11,000 days’ labour. This will provide work for today’s skilled tradesmen and women, and also ensure we’re teaching new and valuable skills and crafts to the tradesmen and women of tomorrow.