Funding schemes for protected structures and historic buildings
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Malcolm Noonan has announced two funding schemes for protected structures and historic buildings - the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2021 and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2021.
Since 2016, Waterford City and County Council has received funding of €1,035,000 for conservation projects. This has supported 98 projects, provided 7,500 days of employment and has generated a spend of €2.34 million. These figures do not include the non conservation element of projects which generated additional employment and spend.
The projects ranged in scope from essential repairs of rainwater goods, walls, windows, thatch roofs, stained glass to large-scale repairs of buildings.
The BHIS scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale, labour intensive projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of protected structures and in certain cases the conservation of structures within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA).
Waterford has been allocated €136,800. Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000, with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded.
The primary focus of the HSF will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the benefit of communities and the public.
The core aims of this fund are to:
- Enable larger scale conservation works to be carried out on heritage structures which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support.
- Encourage the regeneration and reuse of heritage properties, and to help to secure the preservation of protected structures and/or historic-culturally significant assets.
- Support the investment of private capital in labour intensive projects to conserve historic structures in public and private ownership for community use.
- Support employment in the conservation and construction industries.
- Build resilience in our heritage properties to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.
Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where a clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated.
The HSF 2021 includes two new pilot schemes. The vernacular scheme will support the conservation and repair of the traditional buildings, that are not protected structures and 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 to the Department where that project concerns the conservation and repair of a historic shopfront, its glazing or signage.
These schemes will be administered by Waterford City and County Council. The criteria, list of qualifying works, and the application forms for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2021 and Historic Structures Fund 2021 are now available on www.waterfordcouncil.ie.
Completed application forms and photos of the structures are to be submitted only by email to email@example.com by 5pm on January 22. Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full in order to be processed.
The Department will formally approve projects for funding by February 26. Successful applicants must have the works completed by September 24, 2021.
For further information or if you have any queries in relation to the schemes please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org