Funding worth €75k for two Cavan heritage buildings

Two Cavan sites will be funded under a €4M Historic Structures Fund (HSF) directed at preserving architecturally significant buildings.

Cavan heritage sites Rath Church and Woteraghy Mill received a total of €75,097 under HSF.

The sites are awarded funding to conserve, preserve and restoration aspects of the historic bilidings.

The €40,000 grant for the Woteraghy Mill is for essential conservation of the wall, roof and internal floor structures. Primary focus is to halt the ongoing deterioration to prevent structures from collapsing, conserve and enhance the complex for the benefit of the wider community, enable the building to be habitable in the medium term and create a viable tourist destination in the longer term.

The allocation to Rath Church, Killeshandra of €35,097 goes to the conservation of the historic entrance gate piers and restoration of iron grates. Repair and remodelling of centre piece under vaulted section of wall and vaulted sections.

Nationally a total of €4m was awarded through the fund by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in partnership with the 31 Local Authorities. The announcement follows that of €4m in funding under the Department’s other built heritage grant scheme, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, earlier this month.

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, including in specialist heritage roles such as thatching and stone work.

The grants of between €15,000 and €200,000 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.

Announcing the awards today, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, said: ‘I am delighted to announce another €4m 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 our built heritage under Heritage Ireland 2030, the national heritage plan which I launched earlier this year.”

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, said: “It is great to see the number and range of projects which will be supported by this investment of €4m 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 awards announced today also have a welcome knock-on economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople across the country.”

Peter Burke, Minister of State for Local Government, also welcomed the announcement, stating: “As with the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, the success of the Historic Structures Fund is a result of the close working relationship between the Department and the Local Authorities, particularly the Architectural Conservation Officers, Heritage Officers and planning and administrative staff who make these schemes possible. I am particularly pleased to note the continuation of the Historic Shopfront stream, investing in our historic townscapes in line with this Government’s commitment of putting Town Centres First.”