Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (590)

James Browne


590. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to the fact that owners of buildings with thatched roofs receive quotes of approximately €20,000 in respect of rethatching; her plans to introduce grant funding to facilitate the replacement of thatched roofs for those not in a position to fund same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46210/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department operates two schemes to assist in the conservation of our built heritage which may include thatched structures. These schemes are the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF). While the primary responsibility to care for and maintain a protected structure rests with the owner, these schemes invest essential capital in our valuable built heritage and help the owners and custodians of historic structures in every local authority area across the country to safeguard their properties into the future for the benefit of communities and the public.The BHIS is a scheme for the repair and conservation of protected structures – in public and private ownership - on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale conservation projects and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals and tradespeople. I allocated funding of €2.5m for the BHIS in 2019. The HSF is for larger conservation works to such protected structures. I allocated €1.824m for the HSF in 2019. Both schemes are administered through the local authorities.

I will shortly be announcing details of the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2020 and the Historic Structures Fund 2020. Details of the schemes, including the amounts allocated to each local authority, will be published on my Department’s website and on each local authority website.  

The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of our built heritage, which may include grants for thatching. The announcement of any proposed grant schemes can be found on their website at www.heritagecouncil.ie.

While my Department does not run a funding scheme specifically for thatched structures, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government administers a grant scheme for the renewal or repair of thatched roofs of owner-occupied houses. Full details are available from their website at www.housing.gov.ie/housing/grantsfinancial-assistance/thatching-grant/thatching-grants.