Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fáil’s Health spokesperson, has encouraged people to apply for funding to help protect Wicklow’s historic buildings.
Deputy Donnelly explained, “Wicklow County Council is offering Government money under two schemes at the moment. There’s the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF).
“The funds are designed for people who own, or take care of, culturally significant buildings. Successful applicants will be given money to carry out repairs and ensure their buildings are preserved for generations to come. A total of €60,000 is up for grabs as part of the Built Heritage Scheme, which will see individual grants handed out of between €2,500 and €15,000. But there’s a bigger fund available under the Historic Structure Fund which will help those whose buildings are used by the public.
“Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Grand Designs will know just how expensive and time consuming these kind of projects can be. But they’ll be aware too of how important it is for us to preserve a crucial part of our heritage. This kind of work also provides much needed jobs for people with specialised skills in restoration and conservation.
“Last year these grants helped with the upkeep of St. Mary & Peter’s Church in Arklow and several homes in Dunlavin and in Rathgorragh in West Wicklow, among others.
“I’ve been told that applications will be open until the 31st of January so there’s no time to lose. Forms are available from Wicklow County Council”, Concluded Donnelly.