12 March 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, has announced that 556 heritage projects across the country will benefit from a total of €4.5m under this year’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS), with a total of €321,154 being awarded to 34 projects in Cork.
The BHIS is one of two built heritage funding schemes run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in association with the 31 Local Authorities. The scheme assists owners of heritage structures – including those on the local authorities’ Record of Protected Structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas – to meet their obligations to care for their properties by providing match-funded grants of up to €15,000 for standard projects (not involving thatch).
The scheme is not limited to private dwellings but also provides assistance to a wide range of other important heritage structures. This year’s BHIS includes awards to a range of historic structures throughout Cork, including:
MTU Gallery, Crawford College of Art & Design
Ivy Lawn, 118 Evergreen Road
15 North Mall
Drumcora, Blackrock Road
Cliffmahon, Castle Road
Midleton College, Midleton
Patsy’s corner, Market Square, Kinsale
St. Catherines, Sleveen East, Chapel Hill, Macroom
Also included under this year’s scheme is funding of €500,000 for conservation repairs to eligible historic thatched structures with grants of up to €20,000 available through the scheme. Cork County Council has been awarded €42,753 for 5 thatched structures under this year’s scheme.
Minister Noonan said:
“It gives me great pleasure to announce this significant investment in our built heritage which will allow so many owners and custodians of historic and protected structures across the country to complete necessary works to maintain these structures and safeguard them for the benefit of future generations.
“I have always stressed the importance of supporting our communities in their efforts to repair, preserve and restore our built heritage. This funding represents a 12.5% increase on last year’s funding and underlines this Government’s continuing commitment to protect and preserve our built environment, in line with the goals set out in Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan, which I launched last year.”
Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, said:
“The announcement of funding under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme of €4.5m is fantastic news as this will not only help maintain our built heritage but will also create economic benefits by generating jobs, including those in those specialist sectors providing employment for heritage contractors and tradespeople. I look forward to seeing how this funding benefits so many communities through the new and exciting conservation projects which will be undertaken in the coming year.”
Minister of State for Local Government, Kieran O’Donnell TD, also welcomed the announcement:
“The continued success of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme is down to the hard work of the Local Authorities, particularly the Architectural Conservation Officers, Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff. The relationship between local and central government is also critical to this success and I would like to congratulate all involved in this process. I look forward to seeing results of this funding on various projects within our towns, in line with this Government’s commitment to put Town Centres First.”
Details of awards granted under the Department’s other built heritage scheme, the Historic Structures Fund, will also be announced following assessment in the coming weeks.