November 2nd, 2023
Today I'm delighted to be launching two of the key built heritage grant schemes available to support owners and custodians of heritage structures to maintain and conserve our built heritage.
Totaling €9 million, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) are now open for applications via local authorities, and I'm encouraging anyone interested in availing of one of the grants to contact their local Heritage Officer in Carlow County Council or Kilkenny County Council.
It’s so important that we support people in their efforts to maintain and conserve our precious built heritage, and with €9 million being made available today across two key grant schemes, my Department expects this funding will support essential repairs and conservation work to over 550 historic structures across every local authority in the country in 2024. These will range from small-scale but labour-intensive projects in individual homes, up to larger-scale projects in major public buildings, helping to repair and rejuvenate these historic buildings so they’re presented to their best effect today but also safeguarded into the future.
We have no shortage of really special heritage properties in Carlow and Kilkenny that can avail of this kind of targeted support, and we know having seen the exceptional restoration or conservation work that’s been carried out on some of our historic buildings in recent years that this work can have a wonderful uplifting effect on a whole street or area.
Beyond that, the active conservation of our built heritage brings untold community-wide benefits, not least of which is the employment opportunity for craftspeople with very specialised traditional building skills. Through this built heritage funding, we’re not just supporting the preservation of our built heritage, but the preservation too of crafts and skills that have been practiced for generations, and which lend the uniquely Irish character and vernacular to many of our towns and villages.
We’re lucky to have fantastic Heritage Officers in place in both Carlow and Kilkenny County Councils, so if you're interested in embarking on the repair of conservation of a heritage building, take a look at the general information below, and then contact them as soon as possible to establish the best grant option for your project.
Built Heritage Investment Scheme
• The 2024 Built Heritage Investment Scheme will provide grants of up to €15,000 to individual owners for small-scale works to repair and preserve their historic properties.
• BHIS includes ring-fenced funding of €500,000 for thatched buildings. This will fund conservation repairs to historic thatched structures, helping owners to offset other costs and protecting these cherished buildings into the future.
Historic Structures Fund
• The 2024 Historic Structures Fund will offer up to €200,000 for projects that deliver a major community benefit.
• It also offers funding for vernacular structures and for historic shopfronts. The Historic Shopfront Stream provides funding for the refurbishment and conservation historic shop facades to safeguard these distinctive features of our towns, villages, and cities.
• The Vernacular Stream provides funding for conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in the local authority Record of Protected Structures.