The Heritage Council has launched its GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme for 2017. The scheme is designed to provide assistance to those GLAS farmers involved in conserving and securing Ireland’s traditional farm buildings.
The scheme which is as the result of a partnership between The Heritage Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offers grants for approved conservation works to the exterior of farm outbuildings as well as associated structures such as historic yard surfaces, walls, and gates. The maximum grant available is circa €25,000 while the smallest grant available is €4,000.
Speaking about the scheme, Ms Anna Meenan, Project Manager with the Heritage Council said, “The scheme offers a rare and positive opportunity to safeguard our rural built and natural heritage, to protect the special qualities of the traditional farmstead while also allowing it to continue in active use. Since 2009 the scheme has invested in the conservation of over 200 traditional farm buildings making a significant contribution to the enhancement of the Irish countryside. The farm buildings chosen play a positive role in the scenery of our country. They are witness to our long-lasting relationship with the land, and are a part of who we are. If we lose these wonderful diverse buildings, our landscape will be all the duller.
“We strongly encourage and support farmers to carry out at least some of the repairs themselves. By connecting owners with their buildings in this way it enhances their ‘hands on’ knowledge to continue repairs to the building well into the future, as well as other buildings on the farm. It also provides a means of employment in rural areas for local contractors, many of whom have had the opportunity to upskill under the scheme, increasing the availability of these craft skills in the local area”, advised Meenan.
Application packs are available online at www.heritagecouncil.ie. The closing date for applications is 5.00 p.m., Friday 18th November 2016.