Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (687)

James Browne


687. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the built heritage investment scheme or the historic structures fund covers the replacement of thatched roofs on private homes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51129/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through 2 grant schemes which are generally administered by local authorities.

I launched these schemes, the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund, on the 14 November, with funding of €2.5m and €1.8m, respectively, for projects taking place during 2020. Both schemes are administered by the local authorities and are open for applications until 31 January 2020. These schemes are available to private homes in certain circumstance and full details of eligibility for the schemes as well as how to apply are available on my Department’s website, www.chg.gov.ie, and on all local authority websites.

Both the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund may be used for financing repairs to thatched buildings, including roofs. A number of such buildings have been financed under both schemes in previous years, including in the Deputy’s own constituency. A list of all projects funded in 2019 is available on my Department’s website.

In the context of a particular building or historic structure, the best advice is generally to contact the Heritage Officer or Architectural Conservation Officer in the local authority who is well placed to advise on the various types of funding available to assist with its renovation or conservation.

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, I am aware that my colleague, the Minister for 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.