The closing date for applications for conservation grants for historic structures in Laois has been extended to 1st March 2021. This is due to the current public health restrictions, and the difficulty faced by owners in obtaining quotes for planned work.
With €6m in funding nationally, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures fund, they represent a significant boost to the conservation of Ireland’s built heritage as well as to the traditional construction skills sector.
The Conservation Grants are managed in Laois by Laois County County Council. Welcoming the deadline extension, Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “We know that many owners have been trying to prepare for these important schemes and it is really important to us that they are given every assistance in their work to look after the local built heritage of Laois and to ensure that our heritage is protected as a community asset. This extended closing date will allow owners to prepare method statements and obtain grants for the work, to make their chances of success in the scheme greater”.
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund will support the owners and custodians of protected structures in every local authority area across the country in 2021. Together, both schemes will assist hundreds of small-scale, labour- intensive projects as well as larger-scale projects to repair and conserve our historic built environment. The projects will also give significant support to local jobs in conservation, traditional skills and construction, providing a vital boost to local economies during challenging times a cumulative total of some 30,000 days of employment will be generated.
The 2021 Historic Structures Fund will also include three new pilot streams: one for vernacular structures, another for historic shopfronts and a third special stream for historic shopfronts in the Irish language.
“The vernacular structures stream will support what can be termed ‘informal’ traditional buildings that are a significant part of our intangible cultural heritage,” said Minister Malcolm Noonan Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage. “Historic shopfronts have always been eligible to apply for funding under the HSF; to incentivise such applications in 2021, Local Authorities will be allowed to shortlist an additional project if that project concerns the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows and/or signs.”
Details of the schemes and how to apply are available here. The revised closing date is 1st March 20201