Conservation Grants


Grants for Conservation of Protected Structures in 2022

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, today (Friday 05 November) launched the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund for 2022.

With €8m in funding across both schemes – an increase of €2 million from 2021 – they represent a continued and significant boost to the preservation of Ireland’s built heritage. It is expected the schemes will support hundreds of projects while also creating over 44,000 days of employment.

Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Cllr Conor Bergin, welcomed the announcement saying “In addition to supporting owners of historic buildings in looking after their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades keeping traditional building skills alive and creating employment for skilled conservation workers. Laois County Council is delighted to be able to participate in the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund, providing a link between the Department and owners on the ground and getting this funding out to Laois Communities”.

Fisherman’s Thatched Inn in Fisherstown was awarded Built Heritage Investment Scheme Funding for thatch repair in 2021

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund support the owners and custodians of protected structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas to meet their obligations to care for their properties.

Administered in conjunction with  Local Authority Architectural Conservation Officers, Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff, 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. In addition, these schemes can unlock the potential to utilise heritage building stock and return it to residential use  – an outcome which will be key to Housing for All, the Government’s far-reaching plan to create a sustainable housing system into the future.

Following on from the successful introduction of two pilot streams for vernacular structures and English and Irish-language historic shopfronts in 2021, both streams have been incorporated into Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2022. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) maintenance stream from 2020 has also been retained for the scheme this year.

In 2021, over 550 projects were awarded funding under the two schemes, ranging from minor but essential repairs of rainwater goods to large-scale roof repairs.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme is designed to support owners and custodians in caring for our built heritage and ensuring that it is protected into the future. Buildings must be on the Laois Record of Protected Structures. Details of the 2022 scheme are below.

Full Scheme Terms and Conditions: BHIS 2022 Circular

Application Form: BHIS 2022 Application Form A

 

Funding of Projects

The minimum funding awarded for successful projects will be €2,500 up to a maximum of €15,000, at a match funding rate of 50%. Priority is given to small-scale, labour-intensive projects.

The Department is piloting a funding stream under this scheme for works of routine maintenance and minor repairs, which were not previously eligible for funding under the scheme. For projects awarded funding under the pilot scheme for works of routine maintenance and minor repairs, the minimum amount will not apply. The maximum award for such projects will be €2,500.

The closing date for applications under both schemes is 31st January 2022. 

 

Historic Structures Fund

The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public.

Details for the scheme are below. Please note the requirement for an appropriately qualified conservation professional to oversee the works, and for a comprehensive and sound methodology to accompany the application.

The Historic Structures Fund 2022 will have several streams with different requirements:

Stream Available Funding What will be funded Maximum Grant Number of Applications per local Authority Requirement to be on RPS or in ACA
Stream 1 Smaller capital works Grants between €15,000 and €50,000 Essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic structures to safeguard the structure and keep it in use. 80% of eligible costs max 3 + 1 in public ownership Yes
Stream 1 Historic Shopfronts English Grants between €15,000 and €50,000 Essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. 80% of eligible costs max. 1 Yes
Stream 1 Historic Shopfronts Irish Grants between €15,000 and €50,000 for essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic Irish-language shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. 80% of eligible costs max. 1 Yes
Stream 2 Community Benefit Grants between €50,000 and €200,000. Grants may be phased over two years. Larger enhancement or significant refurbishment projects involving historic structures, where a clear benefit to the community and the public has been demonstrated. 50% of eligible costs. In exceptional circumstances a higher percentage may be sought, up to a max of 80%. 1 Yes
Projects in Partnership To be determined in case by case basis Works to care for historic structures and buildings in public ownership and improve recreational infrastructure and public access to these heritage assets Will not generally exceed 50% of the project cost N/A
Vernacular Structures Stream Grants between €5,000 and €10,000 Essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of vernacular structures to safeguard the structure and keep it in use. 80% of eligible costs max. 1 No

Full details are in the Scheme Guidelines below.

Scheme guidelines: Historic Structures Fund 2022 Circular

Application Forms:  HSF2022 Appendix I – Form A (Applicant)

All applications under the Historic Structures fund must be accompanied by a completed form A and a comprehensive method statement prepared by a conservation professional.

The closing date for applications under both schemes is 31st January 2022. 

For further information please contact:
Forward Planning Section, Laois County Council,
Áras An Chontae, Portlaoise, Co Laois. Email voreilly@laoiscoco.ie, phone 057-866 4000.

 

Lea Church in Killenard was awarded Historic Structures Fund funding in 2021 for roof repairs