Revitalisation fund for the historic environment opens

Date published: 10 May 2019

A £820,000 fund aimed at conserving historic environment assets and increasing knowledge and public awareness is now open.

Strangford former Presbyterian church

Applications are invited from owners and from community and heritage organisations for a range of support streams organised together as the Historic Environment Fund.

£600,000 is available to fund repairs to listed buildings and scheduled historic monuments. Most listed buildings will be eligible for up to 20% of costs up to a cap of £50,000 with extra support for the repair of scheduled monuments, thatched roofs and the retention and repair of historic windows.

This year support has been extended for the first time to listed buildings with no economic purpose, for example follies.  It will also support owners to take action to halt the decline of buildings at risk and will provide financial help for District Councils to tackle heritage at risk that they own.

Launching the fund, Department for Communities (DfC) Director of Historic Environment Iain Greenway said: “Our aim in developing the Fund was to support and encourage a wide range of activity so that our full community can truly enjoy and realise the immense value that our historic environment brings. From cathedrals to cottages we have a fantastic resource here that contributes to community wellbeing and sense of place as well as directly to our economy through tourism and investment. 

“Over the last three years, we have funded 90 projects, including repairs to 63 buildings and monuments, and have supported many people and communities enthusiastic about the heritage of their place to take action to conserve it and make it better. I would encourage everyone to look at this programme and to consider if there is an opportunity here for them. Once lost our heritage is gone forever and it is important that we work together to ensure that we make the most of what we have and that we hand it on to the future in the best condition we possibly can.”

The remaining £220,000 of the Fund has been allocated to support: schools to visit Monuments in State Care; communities to add to the knowledge and conservation of their local heritage; district councils to promote maintenance; and owners to remove vegetation and improve access to scheduled monuments.

It will also support strategic projects to conserve churches; conserve heritage at risk; engage community action on regeneration projects; support a pilot project around council heritage officers; and support the development of heritage skills.  This year the fund is also being opened to applications from those who wish to undertake research into Northern Ireland’s historic environment and the issues it faces. The support available for research work will be limited to awards of £5,000 and £10,000.

To maximise time to carry out work in the 2019/20 financial year, the Fund will be open to most applications for one month closing on 10 June. Applications for research work and school visits to State Care Monuments will close later on 10 August and 10 September respectively.

All applications will be marked against criteria and those scoring highest will be supported, subject to their compliance with the scheme.

Further information on how to apply is available at historic environment financial support

Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors: 

1. The Historic Environment Fund was first launched in 2016. The following streams of funding are open for applications this year: 

Heritage Repair (Closing date 10 June 2019)

  • Historic Monument Repair
  • Listed Building Repair

Heritage Regeneration (Closing date 10 June 2019)

  • Historic Monument Regeneration
                    Vegetation removal/ halting monument decline
  • Historic Churches Regeneration
                    Historic Churches Capacity Building Project
  • Heritage at Risk Regeneration
    Holding Repairs Fund
                                    No economic value Fund
                                    Council owned structures Fund
    Heritage Revival (Closing date 10 June 2019)
  • District Council Maintenance Week Catalyst          
    Support for 2 councils 
  • Heritage Schools Transport Fund (Closing date 10 September 2019)
  • Historic Environment Community Heritage Investigation                                         

Heritage Research (closing date 10 August 2019)

  • Open Fund for Heritage Research
    Including proposals in regard to the
                                          University Fund                                           
                                          Post Excavation Fund
                                          Incubation-Innovation Fund
                                          Archaeological Investigation
                                          Conservation Plan seed Funding

3. All funds are considered relative to the following criteria:

  • Conservation and enhancement of the historic environment
  • Economic impact - contribution to tourism and to supporting communities
  • Economic impact - supporting the construction and associated industries
  • Social benefits – creating broader and deeper understanding  of our heritage
  • Social benefits – enhancing public engagement with the historic environment
  • Funding is limited to the current financial year and will be allocated based upon applications received, For most routes the deadline is limited to 10 June.

    4. Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

    5. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on 028 9082 3532 or email press office.  Out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned

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