It is fitting that Deputy Durkan is taking Deputy Heydon's question because they share the same county.
My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through two grant schemes - the built heritage investment scheme, BHIS, and the historic structures fund, HSF - which are generally administered by the local authorities. On 14 November, I launched the 2020 BHIS and the HSF and announced combined funding of almost €4.3 million.
Applications under the BHIS are assessed by the local authorities and awarded funding with the approval of my Department. Kildare County Council has been allocated €79,000 under the 2020 BHIS, the same amount as was allocated and drawn down in 2019.
There is no specific county allocation for the HSF. Applications are short-listed by local authorities and then assessed by a panel of experts, including officials of my Department. In 2019, three projects were put forward to the Department for consideration. Following assessment, one project, Newbridge College clock tower, Junior House, was approved, to the value of €25,000. This has been drawn down.
Both the BHIS and the HSF are administered by the local authorities and are now open for applications until 31 January 2020. Full details of the schemes are on my Department's website.
On 28 November, I announced funding of €1 million for the historic towns initiative, which my Department runs in conjunction with the Heritage Council. The initiative is a fund for the heritage-led regeneration of historic towns with an indicative minimum population of 1,500. This initiative is now open for applications and would, of course, include many Kildare towns. Projects under the historic towns initiative vary greatly from town to town but have to date included the upgrading of historic shop fronts as well as the regeneration of built heritage sites.