Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Questions (839)

Matt Carthy


839. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if upcoming tranches of TAMS will include provision for financial supports towards the restoration of derelict farmhouses and other buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15716/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The TAMS II Scheme has been very successful in terms of uptake with the number of approvals that have issued to date exceeding 28,800. All of these approvals represent committed expenditure under the TAMS II measure of the Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020. Until such time as these approvals are acted upon or expire, the budget for TAMS must include provision for the potential expenditure involved. Current estimates indicate that the total budget of €395m available under TAMS II for the suite of seven measures covering a wide range of investments will be fully spent.

There are no plans, therefore, to introduce additional investment items such as supports towards the restoration of derelict farmhouses and other buildings under TAMS II.

However, the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings 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 during the lifetime of the current Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

One of the conditions of entry to the scheme is that a farmer must have a GLAS contract with my Department. The applicant must also own the building or the related structure for which funding is sought or be acting with the permission of the owner.

€1.25 million was allocated in the 2020 budget. The grants range between €4,000 and €25,000 and cover up to 75% of the cost of the works.

The closing date for the receipt of applications for the 2020 Scheme was 18February 2020 and eligible applicants were chosen on a competitive basis. The Heritage Council has issued grant offers to successful applicants and it is expected that 80 to 90 projects will be supported this year.