Thatcher Hugh Gallagher repairing part of the thatch on Granny Kate’s Thatched Cottage in Common, Glengesh near Ardara
The Heritage Council is inviting applications to its Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2017 and its Thatch Conservation Grant Scheme 2017. The aims of the grant scheme are to promote appreciation and enjoyment of heritage and to reach out to new audiences. Grant applications must be submitted using the Heritage Council’s on-line application system at www.heritagecouncil.ie by 5 p.m. on the closing date of Friday, March 24, 2017.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys T.D. said “The recently launched Action Plan for Rural Development outlined my commitment to a community-led approach to rural development. The Heritage Council’s Grant Schemes are a fantastic avenue for those across Ireland working tirelessly to protect and preserve their heritage to receive support.”
“The Heritage Council grant schemes are a very important source of funding for heritage initiatives in County Donegal,” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer, Donegal County Council. “The announcement that €800,000 will be made available nationally in 2017 for the Community Heritage Grant Scheme and the Thatch Conservation Grant Scheme is most welcome and goes some way to providing much needed support for heritage initiatives in the county. Eligible projects that can be considered under the scheme include local heritage audits, graveyard surveys, surveys of monuments, the preparation of conservation reports or conservation management plans, community-led conservation works, projects designed for National Heritage Week and projects that support community efforts to educate about and manage heritage. The renewed emphasis on the conservation of thatch structures is also welcome as County Donegal has one of the largest concentrations of thatched structures in Ireland and this grant scheme will provide much needed support to their owners and occupiers.”
Conservation works to St. Columba’s Church in Straid, Clonmany, an archaeological monument, was one of 18 heritage projects in County Donegal that received funding from The Heritage Council in 2016
Under its grants scheme in 2016, The Heritage Council awarded €103,700 in funding for eighteen heritage initiatives in County Donegal to groups and individuals throughout the county. It awarded funding for conservation works to St. Catherine’s Church, Killybegs; Kilbarron Castle; St. Columba’s Church, Straid; Ballysaggart Friary; Rathmullan Abbey; Kilmacrennan Abbey; a Ballyshannon warehouse and Tullyarvan Mill, Buncrana. Three thatched roofs also received support from The Heritage Council for repair works. Funding was also approved for conservation reports/ plans for the Church Lane, Letterkenny; Christ Church, Buncrana; the Pilot’s House, Dundoan, Carrigart; the archaeological complex at Disert and St. Mary’s Church, Castlefinn. Natural heritage projects funded included the management of habitats for key bird species on Tory Island and a study of the flora and fauna of roadside verges in the Inishowen peninsula.
Speaking about the grants scheme, Heritage Council Chief Executive, Michael Starrett said “We are delighted to be able to offer some support to community-based heritage projects this year. Every project that receives funding is unique to its local area and is vital in maintaining our distinctiveness as a country. This distinctiveness is the core of our tourism product, providing jobs and ensuring our places maintain a quality of life for the people who live there. We are looking for creative, engaging projects that provide a way for the public to learn about, and manage, our natural and cultural heritage.”
The Heritage Council can only consider applications in the fields of national heritage specified in the Heritage Act 1995. This includes monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens, and parks and inland waterways. Please note the scheme does not cover works to carry out any part of any public sector body’s statutory or core responsibilities; undergraduate or postgraduate studies; archaeological excavations or post-excavation analysis and reporting; memorials; landscaping works; publications or primary school projects. Grants of up to €10,000 can be awarded. Funding of up to 75% of the project cost can be sought. Applications to the Community Heritage Grant Scheme and the Thatch Conservation Grant Scheme can only be made using the on-line application system on the Heritage Council website prior to the March 24, 2017 deadline.
Further information on the grant scheme is available by contacting The Heritage Council in Kilkenny on (056) 777 0777 or at www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding. Advice on applications is also available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576.