The GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme for 2017 is now open, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This follows the securing of €1m in the recent Budget for the scheme.
The GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme builds upon the success of a similar scheme under REPS 4 (2007-2013) which saw over 350 buildings nationwide restored and over 140 previously unknown roosts of protected bird and bat species discovered and conserved.
Speaking about the announcement Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said 'this very important scheme will make a huge contribution to preservation of our rural heritage and the enhancement of the rural landscape'.
"These are beautiful structures, made of local materials by local craftsmen, and I think we are all learning to appreciate the importance of this part of our heritage.”
The Scheme is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Union, and is administered on behalf of the Department by the Heritage Council. The financial allocation to the Scheme is €6m for the lifetime of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. All applications are assessed individually to identify the best and highest-priority projects.
Under this scheme, grants are available to GLAS participants to carry out approved conservation works to traditional farm buildings and associated landscape structures such as historic yard surfaces, walls, gate pillars and gates. The principal objective of this scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and which are of significant heritage value are conserved for agricultural use.
The grants available range between €4,000 and €25,000 and can cover up to 75 per cent of the cost of the works. Eligible applicants for the scheme are chosen on a competitive basis and around 50 to 70 projects will be supported each year.
The closing date for the receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday, November 18, 2017.