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About the Architectural Conservation Office

Donegal County Council’s Architectural Conservation Unit is responsible for making additions to the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The unit also aids the owners or guardians of structures on the RPS, the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) or within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) with conservation advice and direction.



Check Your Property

You can check if your property is on the RPS or in an ACA using the Planning Map Search at 


Please provide your RPS, ACA or NIAH reference number in all correspondence to enable us to deal with your query.

You can contact the Architectural Conservation Unit at [email protected]


Architectural Conservation Grants

 The following grants are now open. The date of closure is 4 pm  Friday January 19th 2024. No late submissions will be accepted:

Please click on the links below to access all forms required. 




Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund 2024


On November 2nd 2023 Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage launched the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund for 2024. 



The Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Historic Structures Fund support the owners and custodians of protected structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas to meet their obligations to care for their properties.

Following on from the successful  pilot streams for vernacular structures and  historic shopfronts in 2023, both streams will continue under Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2024. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) maintenance stream  has also been retained this year. It should be noted that the 2024 Built Heritage Investment Scheme will include ring-fenced funding of €500,000, at a national level, for conservation repairs to thatched structures to maximise the availability of financial assistance to such owners, helping them offset other costs.


The purpose of the Historic Shopfronts stream is to support and incentivise the conservation of historic shop fronts within the criteria of eligible essential repairs and small capital works, for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard the shopfronts and keep them in use.


Operation of the ring-fenced thatch BHIS stream

The ring-fenced thatch funding will be awarded on broadly the same basis, using the same application form and to the same deadlines as the mainstream BHIS, with applications being made through the local authorities in the first instance. Grants to thatched structures may also continue to be made from the local authority’s mainstream BHIS allocation under the terms and conditions of that allocation.

However, in recognition of the unique challenges facing thatched structures, there are a number of differences in how this funding can be allocated when compared to mainstream BHIS projects. Key differences between ring-fenced thatch stream and mainstream BHIS are as follows:

 Works must be undertaken on a historic thatched structure: These can include the following:

  •  Thatched structures that are included in the Record of Protected Structures of the relevant local authority
  •  Thatched structures that are proposed for inclusion in the RPS
  •  Other historic thatched structures which are neither currently protected/nor proposed for protection

Scope of works:

Funded works are not limited to repairs to the thatch itself, with all eligible conservation works listed in the BHIS Circular being eligible for funding under this stream.

The maximum amount of funds that can be awarded to a project is €20,000. This represents an additional €5,000 above the maximum allowable under the mainstream BHIS stream.

The maximum match funding requirements are 80/20: Whereas the mainstream BHIS generally requires private match funding of 50/50, or a minimum of 50% of the total project cost, the ring-fenced thatch stream only requires a minimum of 20% match funding. Unlike the mainstream BHIS, this match funding may include other grant funding.

Owners are invited to make an application through the Architectural Conservation Unit, Donegal County Council by 4pm Friday 19th January 2024, which must in turn be submitted to the Department by 2nd February 2024. Partnership projects by state-funded organisations should submit applications directly to the Department. Details of the schemes and how to apply are available on the links above.

NOTE: You must have an advisor or consultant that you engage to prepare your application and its accompanying documentation and to supervise or undertake works, on your building and they must be fully aware of its significance.  Such personnel should be familiar with the principles and philosophies of architectural conservation in order to ensure that the highest standards of work are achieved. 

Thatch Repair Grant Scheme 2023

  • The Thatch Repair Grant Scheme 2023 is closed :

The 2024 scheme will be advertised on our social media channels and on this website once released. 

  • A booklet entitled Fire Safety in Thatched Properties in conjunction with the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management has been published. It is aimed at thatch owners and occupiers and offers clear advice on the simple measures required to reduce the risk of fire.

As part of the implementation of this fire safety guidance a pilot scheme is running in 2024 where thatch owners can request a visit to your property by an engineer from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The engineer will provide advice on how to apply the published guidance in the property. This service will be available free of charge. It will be available for an initial six-month pilot period, however, if it proves successful the Department will look to make it available on an ongoing basis. If you would like to request a visit, you can email Catriona O’Flaherty with their contact details. E: [email protected] T: 01 5393651

Section 57 Declaration

 Owners or occupiers of a Protected Structuremay request a ‘declaration’ under Section 57 of the Act. The purpose of this declaration is for Planning Authorities to clarify in writing the kind of works that would or would not materially affect the character of the structure or any element of the structure which contributes to its special interest. The issuing of a declaration is a service that the Planning Authority provides at no cost to the owner or occupant of a protected structure. The Planning Authority has twelve weeks from the receipt of a request for a Section 57 to have it completed.



Contact Us

Collette Beattie Architectural Conservation Officer
Architectural Conservation Office
Community Development & Planning Services
County House
Co Donegal 
F93 Y622
(00353) 74 9153900


 [email protected]