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€9 million in built heritage grants announced today!

Funded projects include Kilkenny's landmark Club House Hotel, the historic St Kieran's College, St Canince’s Deanery and the Harp Bar.

It's another landmark day for Ireland's built heritage as today I've announced that a whopping 677 heritage projects across Ireland will benefit from almost €10 million in grants this year under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) for 2024. I'm really pleased to see that 19 projects in my native Kilkenny will share funding of just under €300,000, while 10 projects in Carlow will receive €297,000.

These grant schemes play a crucial role in preserving the integrity of our historic and vernacular buildings by supporting owners or custodians to choose repair or restore over redesign or replace. And beyond protecting our heritage, this in turn helps to revitalise our towns and villages and preserve their unique charm and character for future generations. I'm proud to have built up these transformative grant schemes over successive budget, and the level of funding we now commit to them highlights this Government's ongoing commitment to protect and preserve Ireland's built heritage, in line with the goals I set out in our national heritage plan, Heritage Ireland 2030.

To achieve this, it’s vital that we enable people to choose repair or restore over redesign or replacing old buildings. As someone who has long been an advocate for preserving the unique vernacular of our Irish town centres, I’m especially pleased to see a significant investment in both Kilkenny and Carlow in this year’s allocations - a 20% increase from last year. Through the BHIS and HSF we will keep magnificent buildings such as St Kieran’s College and the Carlow County Library in use; preserve the historic exteriors of our shopfronts and establishments like the Harp Bar and the Club House; and bring many other buildings back into use.

And equally importantly, by providing thousands of hours of valuable work for traditional craft and tradespeople, this funding gives a direct boost to local economies too. To conserve our built heritage now, and into the future, we need to maintain the skills needed to do it - skills like thatching, sign painting and stone work that would otherwise be lost. The €9 million allocated today will go someway to preserving that expertise and helping today's craftsmen and women pass those skills on to future generations.


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