Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has launched the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and Historic Structures Fund (HSF) for 2023.
The BHIS and HSF support the owners of protected structures to meet their obligations to care for their properties and, with €9million in funding across both schemes, an increase of 12.5% on 2022, they represent a continued and significant boost to the conservation and protection of Ireland’s rich architectural heritage. The funding includes a total of €4.5 million for the BHIS and €4.5 million for the HSF.
The BHIS and HSF are administered by the local authorities and will assist hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects, as well as some larger-scale projects, aimed at securing our historic built environment for our benefit today and as a legacy for future generations. The projects will also give significant support to jobs in conservation, construction and traditional skills, providing a boost to local economies.
The BHIS 2023 will include ring-fenced funding of €500,000 for the conservation and repair of historic thatched houses to maximise the availability of financial assistance to owners of historic thatched houses and help them offset their costs.
The HSF 2023 will include two streams first introduced in 2021: one for vernacular heritage and one for historic shopfronts. The vernacular stream will provide total funding of €150,000 for conservation, repair and small capital works to vernacular structures which are not included on the local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. The historic shopfronts stream, run in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, will include shared funding of €50,000 for the conservation and repair of historic shopfronts with Irish language signage.
Over 594 projects were awarded funding under the BHIS and HSF in 2022, ranging from small-scale repairs to joinery to large-scale repairs of roofs, and owners are now being invited to make an application for funding under the BHIS and HSF for 2023. Details of the schemes, and how to make an application through the local authority, are available below:
Tynans Bridge House, Kilkenny, which was repaired with funding of €15,000 under the Historic Shopfront Stream of the Historic Structures Fund 2021