Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, has announced that 78 heritage projects across the country will benefit from a total of €4 million under this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF) administered by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in conjunction with the 31 Local Authorities.
Sligo to benefit under Historic Structures Fund 2022
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 conservation professionals and tradespeople by facilitating works with a total value of almost €8 million and leveraging an estimated 22,400 days’ labour, including in specialist heritage roles such as thatching and stonework.
The announcement follows that of €4 million in funding under the department’s other built heritage grant scheme, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, by Minister Noonan. The HSF is one of two built heritage funding schemes which works 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 in February.
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 – this year’s HSF includes awards to historic bridges, castles, churches, mills, libraries, shopfronts, and an old forge, as well as to private houses.
In Sligo the Historic Structures Fund 2022 will support conservation works to two historic buildings, namely Graniamore Presbyterian Church, Ballymote for roof, rainwater goods and window repairs and, Quigleys, Collooney for essential repair and conservation works under the historic shopfronts strand. The buildings were awarded €15,000 and €10,000 respectively.
Announcing the awards, Minister Noonan said:
"I am delighted to announce another €4 million investment in our built heritage. This year’s Historic Structures Fund will assist 78 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures across the country as they carry out hundreds of conservation projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. I am particularly pleased to announce the awards made to vernacular structures and historic shopfronts following their successful pilot schemes last year.
"These awards celebrate the richness and diversity of our built heritage and help to preserve our connections to past generations, in particular through their support of traditional building skills, which this government is committed to investing in. These actions also help us to deliver on our commitments to built heritage under Heritage Ireland 2030, the national heritage plan which I launched earlier this year."
Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Paul Taylor, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council said:
"I am delighted to see Sligo benefitting under the Historic Structures Fund. These schemes help to safeguard our rich built heritage, keeping many buildings in use and helping to bring many others back into use. The grant awards announced also have a welcome knock-on economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country."
Councillor Dónal Gilroy, Chairperson of Sligo Heritage Forum added:
"The Historic Structures Fund is a critical support for owners of heritage buildings, and it is a result of the close working relationship between the Department and the Local Authorities, particularly Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff who make these schemes possible. I am particularly pleased to note the grant allocation to Quigleys, Collooney under the Historic Shopfront stream, as investing in our historic townscapes is so important and is in line with this government’s commitment of putting Town Centres First."