Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, today (2 November 2023) launched the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) for 2024.
The total funding of €9 million across the two schemes is expected to support repair and maintenance of over 550 historic structures in every local authority area across the country in 2024. These will range from small-scale, labour-intensive projects in individual homes, up to larger-scale projects in major public buildings. This funding will help owners and custodians of our built heritage to undertake the repair and rejuvenation of these historic buildings, presenting them to their best effect today and safeguarding them into the future.
Announcing the 2024 schemes earlier today, Minister Noonan said:
“I strongly believe in the importance of supporting communities to protect and conserve our shared built heritage, and recognise that this relies on the dedication of many different parties, including owners and custodians, skilled craftspeople, and local authority experts. As Minister, I have had the pleasure of visiting numerous properties around the country that have received assistance under these two grant schemes and seen first-hand the positive impacts that this work has on the character of a place, the communities that live there and local employment. I would encourage anyone considering applying to get in touch with the Architectural Conservation Officer or Heritage Officer within their local authority as soon as possible.”
Overview and key points on each of the grant schemes:
Built Heritage Investment Scheme
- The 2024 Built Heritage Investment Scheme will provide grants of up to €15,000 to individual owners for small-scale works to repair and preserve their historic properties.
- BHIS includes ring-fenced funding of €500,000 for thatched buildings. This will fund conservation repairs to historic thatched structures, helping owners to offset other costs and protecting these cherished buildings into the future.
Historic Structures Fund
- The 2024 Historic Structures Fund will offer up to €200,000 for projects that deliver a major community benefit.
- It also offers funding for vernacular structures and for historic shopfronts. The Historic Shopfront Stream provides funding for the refurbishment and conservation historic shop facades to safeguard these distinctive features of our towns, villages, and cities.
- The Vernacular Stream provides funding for conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in the local authority Record of Protected Structures.
Commenting on today’s launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, said:
“Our built heritage is a tangible expression of our history and culture, and a distinctive and attractive element of our towns, villages, cities, and countryside. I know from my visits around the country that it can be a great source of pride for local communities. The schemes launched today are a vital support to communities, owners, and custodians who maintain our historic structures so they remain a public good for generations to come.”
Adding to Minister O’Brien’s comments, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell TD, said:
“It gives me a great sense of pride to see the work being done at local level to ensure that schemes such as the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme run as well and as smoothly as they do. This is no small task, and credit is due to the conservation and heritage professionals across Ireland, as well the expert teams at our local authorities, who help ensure that these structures are maintained for the benefit of their communities”.
How to apply:
Applicants apply through their local authority. The window for applications opens from today, 2nd November, until January 2024. Applicants should check with their local authority to determine the closing date in their area. Details of these two schemes and guidance on how to apply will be available from each local authority and the relevant documentation is available on the Department’s website here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/32ae3-financial-assistance-for-architectural-heritage/ and https://www.gov.ie/ga/foilsiuchan/cunamh-airgeadais-don-oidhreacht-thogtha/