Clare County Council has been allocated €121,000 under a newly announced Government scheme aimed at the repair and conservation of protected structures and generating employment in the local construction sector.
The funding is being provided by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme, the closing date for which is Friday, 7th February, 2014.
Eligible structures include those listed in Clare County Council’s Records of Protected Structures (RPS), those proposed for inclusion in the RPS but have not yet been formally approved for inclusion, and those within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs).
“The significant difference between this scheme and previous built heritage programmes is that the focus and priority of this scheme will be on job creation,” commented Risteárd Ua Cróinín, Architectural Conservation Officer, Clare County Council.
He explained that the scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour-intensive, small-scale conservation projects across Clare and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment.
Mr. Ua Cróinín noted that the Government, local authorities and other public and private heritage stakeholders have identified that Ireland’s historic built environment is at risk from a number of factors, particularly in the context of current economic conditions.
He added that important elements of built heritage in both public and private ownership are being lost, allowed to deteriorate or being irretrievably damaged.
He continued: “The historic built environment makes a significant contribution to the local economy by attracting investment, providing direct and indirect employment, as well as sustaining a traditional skills base for wider application. Heritage tourism is also extremely important to the local economy. For example, the conservation of our historic buildings makes our towns and villages more attractive to tourists and locals alike and can often act as a catalyst for further heritage projects in an area.”
Funding awards made under the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000. Successful applicants will be required to fully match the funding awarded. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 7th February, 2014.
Further information, including application forms and a circular outlining the details of the scheme, is available on www.clarecoco.ie. Alternatively, contact Risteárd Ua Cróinín, Architectural Conservation Officer, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare, on 065-6846307 / firstname.lastname@example.org.