Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan has launched the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund for 2022, delivered by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in partnership with local authorities.
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.
All around the country, communities are repurposing historic buildings to create livable, low carbon and resilient town centres. I’m delighted to be able to support this heritage-led regeneration by significantly increasing funding for both the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund to a total of €8 million in 2022. The increase underlines this Government’s continued commitment to the protection and preservation of our built heritage, benefitting hundreds of historic structures, keeping traditional building skills alive, and creating employment for skilled conservation workers.
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.
The funding announced today includes a total of €4 million for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme – an increase of 33% from last year’s scheme – and €4 million for the Historic Structures Fund – which is also an increase of 33% from HSF 2021.
Owners are invited to make an application through Laois County Council, with a closing date of 31st January 2021. Details of the schemes and how to apply are available here.