Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (3007)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

3007. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if there are grants available for persons to renovate old castles. [31848/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My role, as Minister, with regard to the protection and management of our built heritage is set out in the provisions of relevant legislation, including the Planning Acts and the National Monuments Acts, as are the role of local authorities and the responsibilities of owners.

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 renovation.

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS), which are administered by local authorities. This year I have allocated €1.824m and €2.5m respectively to these schemes. Details of the projects and funding approved and the criteria by which they are assessed, are available on my Department's website and local authority websites. While the closing dates for applications have now passed, my Department will remain in close contact with local authorities throughout the year to ensure the best possible use is made of all funds, including by reallocating funds where certain projects do not proceed within agreed timeframes.

My Department’s National Monuments Service also works in close collaboration with the OPW on survey, excavation and research work to optimise the protection, management, interpretation and presentation of national monuments in State care.

The Heritage Council, which my Department funds, also provides grants for the protection and preservation of the built heritage. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports annually, having regard to competing priorities for limited resources. Grant schemes for 2019 are advertised by the Heritage Council on its website www.heritagecouncil.ie.