Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Question 138: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will review the current funding for architectural protection grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31022/06]
A reallocation of expenditures within my Department's Built Heritage Programme 2006 was recently carried out. This allowed me to announce the following further funding for certain initiatives within my Departments' Built Heritage Capital Programme:
Heritage Council €1,650,000;
Waterford City Walls €260,000; and
Local Authority Conservation Grants Scheme €1,067,000.
The additional €1,650,000 for the Heritage Council will go towards their Buildings at Risk Grant Scheme for the conservation of valuable heritage properties throughout the country, with a particular emphasis on smaller projects.
I was also in a position to respond favourably to the requests for additional funding from local authorities for their Conservation Grants schemes. The scheme, which is administered by local authorities, enables them to give grants towards the conservation of structures that are on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). This additional €1,067,000 will complement the allocation of €6 million made earlier this year to this scheme.
In addition, under the Urban and Village Renewal Operational Programme 2000-2006, my Department administers a scheme of EU co-financed grants for the restoration and conservation of buildings of significant architectural heritage merit and which are in public ownership or open to the public generally. Closing date for the receipt of applications for 2006 in the South and East region was 23 October 2005, and in the Border Midlands West region was 19 December 2005. The grants for 2006 have since been allocated. As no further applications can be taken for the 2000-2006 scheme, my Department is in course of drawing up a replacement scheme. I also look forward to reviewing expenditure on built heritage in the context of the 2007 estimates and the National Development Plan 2007-2013.