Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, today announced 477 heritage projects across every county in the country will benefit from a total of €3m under this year’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS).
In addition to supporting owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades by facilitating works with a total value of over €15.5m and leveraging an estimated 19,000 days’ labour.
The scheme is not limited to private dwellings and also provides assistance to a wide range of other important heritage structures – this year’s BHIS includes awards to landmark pubs including Toner’s in Dublin and T & H Doolan’s in Waterford; historic church buildings across the country; the family vault of Henry Grattan in Kildare; an early concrete bridge in Birr, Co. Offaly; and the iconic ‘Why go bald’ neon
sign on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street.
Also included under the BHIS 2021 is a continuation of a micro-grant stream introduced in 2020 to increase the resilience of historic structures to withstand the constant effects of climate change. This allows 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.
Speaking today, Minister Noonan said:
‘I am delighted to announce €3m investment in our built heritage which will assist 477 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures right across the country as they carry out hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. These awards will provide much-needed economic stimulus in all 31 local authority areas and will give employment to the many small businesses, skilled conservation specialists and tradespeople involved in heritage-related construction activity. Not only will this €3m funding help sustain specialist heritage businesses while the market recovers, it is also an investment in this Government’s commitment under the Programme for Government to encourage traditional building skills.