November 16th, 2023
Today I've launched the 2024 Community Monuments Fund (CMF), which is now open to applications from owners and custodians of archaeological monuments working to safeguard them into the future.
Through the Community Monuments Fund, €7 million is being made available to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites, and it is estimated that the funding for 2024 will support approximately 120 projects nationwide.
This will be the fifth year of the Community Monuments Fund being managed by our National Monuments Service in partnership with our Local Authorities, and the positive impacts and benefits of the scheme have been really clear to see, not least here in Carlow Kilkenny, where we’ve seen a huge influx of funding over the last number of years.
From landmark community buildings, like Butler Gallery, to historic churches and graveyards like Grangefertagh Church and Thomple Medieval Church, there has been really significant investment in the care, conservation and promotion of Carlow and Kilkenny’s archaeological monuments, which in itself is an investment in our communities and in jobs and employment for those skilled in heritage conservation.
This €7 million allocation for 2024 offers further opportunity to build on the great work to date, and to fund thousands more hours of employment for archaeologists, conservation architects, and skilled craftspeople.
Here in Carlow Kilkenny, and across the country, works funded under the CMF are enabling monuments and historic structures at the heart of our communities to be protected for generations to come, including against the impacts of the kinds of extreme weather events we’re increasingly seeing.
This fund also plays a significant role in protecting our biodiversity, as these ancient, untouched sites are often home to flourishing flora and fauna, and the CMF funds communities to carry out surveys to identify the diversity of species at a site, with a view to protecting that with appropriate management going forward.
I’d urge any community with a significant local monument or heritage site to get in touch with their local authority, and I look forward to seeing more great heritage projects get underway in 2024.