The scheme is designed to provide assistance to those farmers in the agri-environmental scheme GLAS in conserving and securing Ireland’s traditional farm buildings.
The scheme, which is as the result of a partnership between The Heritage Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, offers grants of up to 75pc for approved conservation works to the exterior of farm outbuildings as well as associated structures such as historic yard surfaces, walls, and gates.
The maximum grant available is circa €25,000 while the smallest grant available is €4,000.
Speaking about the scheme, Anna Meenan, project manager with the Heritage Council said the scheme offers a “rare and positive opportunity to safeguard our rural built and natural heritage, to protect the special qualities of the traditional farmstead while also allowing it to continue in active use.”
- Grant award will not be for more than 75pc of the cost of the works with grant amounts varying from €4,000 to a maximum of €25,000.
- The grant is available for the conservation of traditional farm outbuildings, including roof, walls, structural repairs, windows and doors.
- The grant is also available for other related structures including historic yard surfaces, walls, gate pillars and gates.
- The process is highly competitive and it is expected that 50-70 projects will be supported in 2017.
- The emphasis is on essential repairs with restoration works having a low priority.
Since 2009 the scheme has invested in the conservation of over 200 traditional farm buildings making a significant contribution to the enhancement of the Irish countryside.
According to the Heritage Council, the farm buildings chosen play a positive role in the scenery of our country.
It says they are witness to our long-lasting relationship with the land, and are a part of who we are. If we lose these wonderful diverse buildings, our landscape will be all the duller.
“We strongly encourage and support farmers to carry out at least some of the repairs themselves. By connecting owners with their buildings in this way it enhances their ‘hands on’ knowledge to continue repairs to the building well into the future, as well as other buildings on the farm.
“It also provides a means of employment in rural areas for local contractors, many of whom have had the opportunity to upskill under the scheme, increasing the availability of these craft skills in the local area”, advised Meenan.
Who can apply for this scheme?
The Scheme is only open to farmers who:
(i) Have a GLAS contract with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and who are approved for participation in the GLAS scheme; and
(ii) Are the owner of the building/other related structure for which funding is sought or are acting with the permission of the owner (in which case the owner must sign the application form)
The closing date for applications is 5.00pm, Friday 18 November 2016.