Details of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2021 and the Historic Structures Fund 2021 have been announced. A total of €6m is being made available with €3m allocated to the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, up 20% on 2020, and €3m allocated to the Historic Structures Fund, up over 75% on 2020.
Both schemes represent a significant boost to the preservation of Ireland’s unique built heritage and will support owners of protected structures in every local authority area across the country. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund will assist hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects as well as large-scale projects to conserve, repair and safeguard our historic built environment. The projects will give significant support to jobs in conservation, construction and traditional skills, providing a boost to local economies during these particularly challenging times. It is expected that the schemes will create over 30,000 days of employment.
The Historic Structures Fund 2021 includes two new pilot schemes. The vernacular scheme will support the conservation and repair of the traditional buildings that are a significant part of our intangible cultural heritage. Historic shopfronts have always been eligible to apply for funding under either scheme but, to incentivise such applications in 2021, each local authority will be allowed to shortlist an additional project where that project concerns the conservation and repair of a historic shopfront, its glazing or signage.
Applications for both schemes are now open. The deadline for applications is Friday 29th January 2021. Information on the schemes, including circulars and application forms, is available online here.
Over 450 projects were funded under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2020 and the Historic Structures Fund 2020. The projects ranged in scope from essential repairs of rainwater goods to large-scale repairs of roofs. Two unusual projects stand out. One funded under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme saw the conservation and repair of the eye-catching Burgh Mausoleum in Maudlins Cemetery, Naas, County Kildare. Eoin Madigan details the project in an online video here. Another project funded under the Historic Structures Fund saw the conservation and painting of The Metal Man in Sligo. A short video is available online here.