On 16 November 2022, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, announced increased funding for both the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund in 2023. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2023 has been allocated €4.5m, up 12.5% on 2022. The Historic Structures Fund 2023 has also been allocated €4.5m, also up 12.5% on 2022
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund will support owners and custodians of protected structures in every local authority area across the country. Together, the schemes will assist hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects as well as larger-scale projects to repair and conserve our historic built environment. These projects will also give significant support to local jobs in conservation and traditional skills.
The funding announced by Minister Noonan includes a total of €4.5 million for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, and €4.5 million for the Historic Structures Fund.
The 2023 Historic Structures Fund will include two streams first introduced in 2021: one for vernacular structures and another for historic shopfronts.
The vernacular stream will provide total funding of €150,000 for conservation repairs and small capital works to eligible vernacular structures – structures built through traditional local methods (see note below) – that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected.
The shopfront stream, which runs in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, includes shared funding of €50,000 for the conservation of shopfronts in the Irish language.
The 2023 Built Heritage Investment Scheme will include ring-fenced funding of €500,000 for conservation repairs to eligible historic thatched structures to maximise the availability of financial assistance to such owners, helping them offset other costs.
Applications are now open and will run until 31 January 2023. Details of the schemes and how to apply are available on all local authority websites and the Department’s website.
Both schemes are managed by Laois County Council, and forms should be returned to Laois County Council by the closing date 31st January 2023. Full details on the Laois County Council website.