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Grant scheme to conserve traditional farm buildings

Barn Before   Barn after

A stone slate-roofed barn in County Donegal before and after it benefitted from the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme administered by The Heritage Council.

 

Funds are available for the conservation of County Donegal’s traditional farm buildings and other related structures from The Heritage Council in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme.  The funding will be made available countrywide for farmers under the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) to help ensure that traditional farm buildings and other structures, that contribute to the character of the landscape and which are of significant heritage value, are conserved for agricultural use.  The closing date for receipt of applications to the grant scheme is Friday, November 24, 2017. 

 

“Since 2009, the scheme has invested in the conservation of over 250 traditional farm buildings making a significant contribution to the enhancement of the Irish countryside” said Anna Meenan, Project Manager with The Heritage Council.  “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.”

 

The aim of the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is to conserve 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 such as walls, gate pillars and gates.  To be eligible for the scheme, buildings and other related structures must have architectural or vernacular heritage character and make a contribution to their setting. 

 

Barn 3

 

“Farmers have always played an important role as custodians of our rural landscape” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.  “Although the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is highly competitive, several farm buildings in County Donegal have benefitted under the scheme in recent years.  As well as achieving the aims of GLAS, 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.”  County Donegal’s farmsteads can include a variety of traditional farm buildings – most of which are eligible under the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme.  On large farms in the east of the county, an array of farm buildings can be found arranged around a courtyard whereas on small farms in the west of the county, outbuildings may be added to the farmhouse along its long axis producing an extended farmstead or may be distributed in a scattered pattern around the farmhouse. 

  

The Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme is open to farmers who (i) have a GLAS contract with the Department of Agriculture and who are approved for participation in the GLAS scheme and (ii) are the owner of the building/other related structure for which funding is being sought or are 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 €25,000.  The Heritage Council estimates that 50-70 projects will be supported countrywide in 2018.  Applications to the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme must be made directly by post to The Heritage Council in Kilkenny to arrive by Friday, November 24, 2017.  Further details and application forms are available from The Heritage Council in Kilkenny on (056) 777 0777.  Application forms can also be downloaded from The Heritage Council website.

 

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