The grant will cover up 75% of the costs involved in renovating older farm buildings, as part of the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme for 2017.
The Heritage Council launched the scheme today, October 14th, with help from the Department of Agriculture. The scheme is part of an attempt to conserve Irish farms’ old and traditional farm buildings, which make up a big part of the Irish landscape.
Grants will range from a minimum of €4,000 to a maximum payment of €25,000. It has been described by Anna Meenan, project manager of the Heritage Council, as a ‘rare and opportunity to safeguard our rural built and national heritage’. She also added that it will protect the ‘special qualities of the traditional farmstead while also allowing it to continue in active use’.
Farm buildings in question include historic yard surfaces, walls, gates, windows, doors, roofs, and walls in need of repairing. The outside of current farm buildings in need of repair also falls within the eligible bracket for renovation. The guidelines also add that ‘essential’ repairs will be funded, not just ‘restoration’ works.
"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,” explained Meenan.
She also added that it will provide ‘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’.
The scheme was first introduced in 2009 and has previously repaired over 200 farm buildings across the country. To be eligible, you must have a GLAS contract with the Agricultural Department, be approved for participation in GLAS schemes, and be the official owner of the buildings you want to repair.
Get your applications in before Friday November 18th at 5pm. Remember, the scheme has been described as ‘highly competitive’ and there may be a limited number of building repairs funded.