Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, has announced that 95 heritage projects across the country will benefit from a total of €4.5m under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF).
€132,500 for five Sligo projects under the Historic Structures Fund
Allocated €37,500 for the conservation of the roof and chimneys. This commanding corner-sited building with its unusual lookout tower on the roof, stands at a busy road junction and is a positive and distinctive addition to the streetscape. The building was once owned by William Pollexfen, maternal grandfather of W. B. Yeats, and was the offices of the family firm, the Pollexfen Shipping Line. It is believed that Mr. William Pollexfen was able to observe his ships entering and leaving nearby Sligo harbour from the rooftop lookout.
In addition to supporting owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties, this funding will also provide a welcome boost to local construction and heritage trades by facilitating works with a total value of over €8m and generating more employment (an estimated 11,250 days’ labour), including for specialist heritage roles such as thatching and stonework.
The HSF is one of two built heritage funding schemes which work in partnership with owners and the 31 local authorities to protect our built heritage – a key aim of Heritage Ireland 2030, the new national heritage plan launched by the Minister last year. The announcement follows the awarding earlier this month of €4.5m in funding under the Department’s other built heritage grant scheme – the Built Heritage Investment Scheme.
By providing grants of between €15,000 and €200,000, the HSF 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. The scheme provides assistance to a wide range of heritage structures, including castles, churches, mills, bridges, shopfronts, and thatch structures, as well as to private houses.
This year’s Historic Structures Fund includes awards to five Sligo properties:
Annaghmore House, Collooney, Co Sligo:
Funding of €31,500 for roof repair, reinstatement of the lead parapet and gutter detail and fit of new cast iron downpipes.
Ballysumaghan Church of Ireland, Ballintogher, Co. Sligo:
Funding of €16,000 for the re-construction of the displaced octagonal chimney on west transept and reslating of the west transept roof.
Pollexfen House, Sligo:
Funding of €37,500 for the renewal of the roof covering, renewal of defective leadwork, removal of vegetation, installation of structural ties, consolidation of masonry, chimneys and reinstatement of clayware pots.
Sligo Cemetery Gate Lodge, Sligo:
Funding of €37,500 for the repair and renewal of the building envelope including windows and doors and the installation of suspended floors at ground and first floor level.
Thatch Cottage, Carrownagleragh, Coolaney, Co. Sligo:
Funding of €10,000 for the complete renewal of the traditional thatch.
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Michael Clarke, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council said:
‘I am delighted to see Sligo benefitting under the Historic Structures Fund.
It is great to see the range of projects which will be supported by this investment of €4.5m nationally. Along with the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, the funding announced will safeguard our rich built heritage, keeping many buildings in use and helping to bring many others back into use. The grant awards also have a welcome knock-on economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country.’
Announcing the awards, Minister Noonan said:
‘I am delighted to announce another €4.5m investment in our built heritage. This year’s Historic Structures Fund will assist 95 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures across the country as they carry out conservation projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. I am particularly pleased to announce the increased number of awards made to vernacular structures. Through this investment, this Government continues to celebrate the value and diversity of our built heritage, while also supporting traditional building skills. These actions also continue to help us deliver on our commitments to built heritage under Heritage Ireland 2030, the national heritage plan which I launched last year.’
Councillor Dónal Gilroy, Chairperson of Sligo Heritage Forum added:
‘The Historic Structures Fund is a critical support for owners of heritage buildings. It is a result of the close working relationship between the Department and the Local Authorities, particularly Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff that schemes such as the Historic Structures Fund continue to be successful in the repair and renewal of our shared built heritage. It’s through this kind of investment that we can truly celebrate the value and diversity of Ireland’s built heritage today, while protecting it for future generations.’
Built c. 1850 this, classically-styled, gate lodge is of National importance. In the ownership of Sligo County Council, it was rescued from dereliction with the support of the Historic Structures Fund 2022. This year a HSF grant of €37,500 will continue the repair and renewal of the building envelope including windows and doors and the installation of suspended floors at ground and first floor level.