Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced the opening of the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme for 2019.
This scheme funds the restoration and preservation of traditional farm buildings and structures of significant heritage value and which are conserved for agricultural use. The scheme is administered by the Heritage Council on behalf of the Department.
At the launch, Minister Creed noted: "These buildings and structures are a hugely important part of our heritage and a traditional part of our countryside. This Scheme is an important part of my Department’s Rural Development Programme by funding the preservation of these structures for future generations. They also make use of an existing building using local materials and traditions. Restored buildings from previous years of the scheme are already a significant enhancement to our rural landscape”.
The Scheme aims to support the restoration of traditional farm buildings and related structures such as historic yard surfaces, walls, gate pillars and gates on farms, while at the same time allowing these buildings a renewed practical use on the farm. It is open to any existing participant in the Department’s principal agri-environment scheme of which there are just under 50,000.
The Scheme is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The financial allocation to the Scheme is €6 million. The grants available range between €4,000 and €25,000 and can cover up to 75% of the cost of the works.
Minister Creed concluded that: “the benefits of the scheme go beyond the restoring our built heritage and it can have significant biodiversity benefits also. Even the smallest buildings can prove very useful - many farm buildings and farmyards provide roosting sites for bats, and nesting sites for birds."
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 Tuesday 19th February 2019. Application forms and terms & conditions of the scheme can be downloaded at www.heritagecouncil.ie