Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (286)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

286. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the next round of the built heritage investment scheme and historic structures fund is due to reopen; if the overall funding for the grant will be increased and the conditions of the grant expanded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8426/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through two grant schemes which are, in the main, administered by the local authorities. These are the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF). The BHIS and HSF for 2021 were launched on 12 November 2020 with a combined allocation of €6m, which is an increase of nearly 40% on 2020.

Together, both schemes will assist hundreds of small-scale, labour-intensive projects as well as a number of larger-scale projects to repair and conserve our historic built environment. The projects will also give significant support to local jobs in conservation, traditional skills and construction, providing a vital boost to local economies during challenging times.The 2021 Historic Structures Fund will also include two new pilot streams: one for vernacular structures and another for historic shopfronts.

Full details of the schemes are available on my Department’s website and on the website of each local authority. Due to Level 5 Covid-19 restriction the deadline for applications by local authorities, and direct applicants to the Department, has been extended to Friday 12 March 2021. Intending applicants are advised to contact their relevant local authority for details of local deadlines.

The operation of the schemes is kept under review and the terms and conditions will be considered in the next review, which is due to take place this summer. This review will inform the schemes for 2022, which will be announced towards the end of the year.