|Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, has announced that 477 heritage projects across every county in the country will benefit from a total of €3m under this year’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS).
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 €15.5m and leveraging an estimated 19,000 days’ labour.
The announcement follows the decision by Cabinet earlier last week to implement a limited, phased easing of restrictions from April until a substantial level of vaccination has been achieved, in the hope that a full re-opening of construction activity can be considered in early May. This announcement allows owners and custodians to begin to plan for the months ahead. All work must, of course, be carried out in full compliance with Government/HSE guidance on Covid-19.
The BHIS is one of two built heritage funding schemes run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in association with the 31 Local Authorities. Through grants of up to €15,000, the BHIS 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 is not limited to private dwellings and also provides assistance to a wide range of other important heritage structures - this year’s BHIS includes awards to landmark pubs including Toner’s in Dublin and T & H Doolan’s in Waterford; historic church buildings across the country; the family vault of Henry Grattan in Kildare; an early concrete bridge in Birr, Co. Offaly and the iconic ‘Why go bald’ neon sign on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street.
Also included under the BHIS 2021 is a continuation of a micro-grant stream introduced in 2020 to increase the resilience of historic structures to withstand the constant effects of climate change. This allows local authorities to make smaller awards to owners of historic properties to carry out routine maintenance to offset the impact of climate change on their buildings.
Details of awards granted under the Department’s other built heritage scheme, the Historic Structures Fund, will be announced following their assessment in the coming weeks.
The list of grantees under the 2021 BHIS can be found in the following document - Click Here