Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has today (January 21) launched the 2019 Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme.
The scheme is designed to make funds available to restore and preserve traditional farm buildings and other structures that are of “significant heritage value”, according to the minister.
“These buildings and structures are a hugely important part of our heritage and a traditional part of our countryside.
This scheme is an important part of my department’s Rural Development Programme by funding the preservation of these structures for future generations. They also make use of an existing building using local materials and traditions.
“Restored buildings from previous years of the scheme are already a significant enhancement to our rural landscape,” added the minister.
The department says that farm buildings and their related structures would be covered under the scheme, including yard surfaces, walls, gates and gate pillars, with the aim of returning these to practical use.
The Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme will be funded by the department under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, to the tune €6 million.
Grants for the scheme will range from between €4,000 to €25,000, and can be used to cover up to 75% of the work.
The benefits of the scheme go beyond the restoring of our built heritage and it can have significant biodiversity benefits also.
“Even the smallest buildings can prove very useful – many farm buildings and farmyards provide roosting sites for bats, and nesting sites for birds,” said the minister.
Between 50 and 70 projects will be supported each year, and the closing date for applications is February 19.