Donegal farmers are being advised not to delay their applications for funding for the conservation of traditional farm buildings.
The support is provided under the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme administered by The Heritage Council in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The aim of the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings that contribute to landscape character and are of heritage value are conserved for agricultural use.
Only on-line applications will be accepted and the closing date for receipt of applications to the grant scheme is Monday, April 24 at 5 p.m.
“Our traditional farm buildings lend character to our rural landscape and farmers play an important role in their stewardship and conservation” explained Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“The Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme allows traditional farm buildings to retain their relevance to agricultural activities, helps to maintain aspects of our rural built heritage which are important to regional landscape character, and conveys rural ways-of-life and local history to visitors and locals alike. The scheme strongly encourages and supports farmers to carry out at least some of the repairs themselves. It also provides a means of employment in rural areas for local contractors and encourages local craftsmen to learn and apply best conservation practice.”
The grant is available for the conservation of traditional farm buildings including roofs, walls, structural repairs, windows and doors. Grants will also be available for other related structures such as historic yard surfaces and landscape features around the farmyard, walls and traditional farm gates. To be eligible for the scheme, buildings and other related structures must have architectural or vernacular heritage character, make a contribution to their setting and not be overwhelmed by large-scale modern buildings. Between 2016 and 2022, The Heritage Council supported the conservation of 580 traditional farm buildings countrywide.
The Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is open to farmers who are (i) active agri-environment scheme participants including the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) or (ii) are participants in a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) or (iii) are approved participants of the Organic Farming Scheme. The applicant must be the owner of the building/other related structure for which funding is being sought or be acting with the permission of the owner. The grant will cover up to 75% of the cost of the works. The minimum grant offered will be €4,000 and the maximum amount will be €30,000. With €1.25 million available under the scheme, The Heritage Council estimates that 70-80 projects will be supported countrywide in 2023.
Further details and application forms are available from The Heritage Council website at: www.heritagecouncil.ie and on (086) 025 9202. Advice to applicants is also available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council.