Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has announced 2 funding schemes for Protected Structures and historic buildings – the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2023 and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2023.
Since 2016, Waterford City and County Council has received funding of over €1.6 million for conservation projects under these schemes. This has supported over 140 projects
In 2022, we received €533,710 in funding for 27 projects which generated a spend of €1,171,825 and provided over 2,500 days of employment. These figures do not include the non conservation element of projects which generated additional employment and spend. The projects ranged in scope from essential repairs of rainwater goods, walls, windows, thatch roofs, stained glass, to large-scale repairs of buildings.
Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2023
The BHIS scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale, labour-intensive projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of Protected Structures and in certain cases, the conservation of structures within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA). Waterford has been allocated €182,400. Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000, with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded.
The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2023.
Funding for the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) is being made available as part of Project Ireland 2040. Total funding available nationally under the Historic Structures fund in 2023 will be €4. 5 million The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the broader benefit of communities and the public.
1. Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.2. Stream 1, Historic Shopfronts sub-stream – As in 2023, to incentivise the conservation of historic shopfronts, each Local Authority is invited to submit an additional application under Stream 1 for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Local Authorities are invited to make applications for a maximum of one English and one Irish-language shopfront under Stream 1
3. Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where:a. A clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated, or b. A clear residential benefit has been demonstrated (such projects must be advanced through the planning process as necessary)In addition, refurbishment or reuse projects where a clear residential benefit is demonstrated will be welcomed this year under Stream 2 in line with Housing for All commitments. A grant of over €200,000 may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where a case is made by the applicant in relation to the significance of the project and the works proposed.
4. Vernacular Structures Stream –- In the context of the forthcoming strategy for built vernacular, the pilot stream for vernacular structures introduced in 2021 will be retained, with increased funding of €150,000. The purpose of the stream is to support conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. Such structures may be located within an Architectural Conservation Area. All local authorities can apply for funding for specific projects of between €5,000 and €10,000 for eligible projects.
These schemes will be administered by Waterford City and County Council. The criteria, list of qualifying works, FAQs and the application forms for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2023 and Historic Structures Fund 2023 are now available on www.waterfordcouncil.ie
Completed application forms and photos of the structures to be submitted only by email to Planning@waterfordcouncil.ie by 5 pm on 28th of January 2023. Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full in order to be processed. Successful applicants must have the works completed by 30th of September 2023.
For further information or if you have any queries in relation to the schemes please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org