2 December 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Cork County Council is inviting owners and custodians to apply for funding to safeguard protected structures and archaeological monuments in County Cork. Three funding streams have been announced for 2024, including the Community Monuments Fund, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, and the Historic Structures Fund.
Under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, successful applicants can receive grants of up to €15,000 for small-scale works to repair and preserve their historic properties. These grants relate to protected structures and properties located within Architectural Conservation Areas and a range of different properties and projects are awarded funding each year. The 2023 scheme supported 17 different projects, ranging from churches and thatched houses to country houses, town houses and retail premises.
The Historic Structures Fund will focus on conservation projects that deliver a major community benefit and successful applicants may receive up to €200,000 for their project. The scheme also offers funding for vernacular structures and for historic shopfronts.
The Community Monuments Fund will enable conservation works to be carried out on archaeological monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of support. It aims to build resilience in monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change, to encourage access to monuments and to improve their presentation. The Scheme has three streams of funding, all of which offer up to 100% of eligible costs. The Community Monuments Fund, for example, which has been operating annually since its establishment in 2020, has seen an investment of over Nine Hundred Thousand Euro (€911K) for 17 different archaeological sites in County Cork.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn said, “Heritage is all around us, it is what defines us as a people. How we regard our heritage and how we protect and promote it is of the utmost importance. I encourage people to avail of these schemes to protect the old buildings that we work in or live in, and the thousands of archaeological monuments reminding us that this county has been home to millions of people over thousands of years. This generation and each successive one needs to do what they can towards ensuring that the built and archaeological heritage held dear today, can be marvelled at, and enjoyed for many more years to come.’
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan said, ‘County Cork is steeped in built and archaeological heritage with close to 3,000 protected structures, over 50 Architectural Conservation Areas and close to 20,000 recorded archaeological monuments. Each of these three schemes have benefited the county’s heritage significantly in the last number of years and on the national level, over €16million has been ringfenced across the three schemes for 2024. County Cork is noted for its built and archaeological heritage, and schemes such as these can ensure that this aspect of the county’s heritage is continuously being supported.’
The deadline for submission of completed applications is 4.00pm on Thursday, 18th of January 2024 in respect of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund, and the later date of 4.00 on Wednesday, 31st of January 2024 in respect of the Community Monuments Fund 2024. Applications can be made by emailing email@example.com or a hard copy may be submitted to the Built Heritage Investment Scheme or Historic Structures Fund or Community Monuments Fund, Cork County Council, Heritage and Conservation Office, Floor 3, Planning Department, County Hall, Cork. For information and application forms, visit www.corkcoco.ie