Conservation grants for REPS 4 farmers
Farmers in REPS 4 now have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to €18,000 for the conservation of traditional farm buildings throughout Ireland.
The Heritage Council has launched its REPS 4 traditional farm building grant scheme for 2014, which aims to help farmers to protect Ireland's rural and built heritage.
More than 200 traditional farm buildings have benefited from the scheme since its inception in 2009. The grant scheme is as a result of a partnership between The Heritage Council and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Grants are available to carry out approved conservation works to the exterior of farm outbuildings as well as associated structures such as historic yard surfaces, walls, and gates. The maximum grant available is circa €18,000, while the smallest grant available is €4,000.
The type of work that is likely to be approved under the scheme would be repairs to slate, thatch or small-scale corrugated iron roofs, re-pointing of stone walls in earth or lime mortar, re-plastering of stone walls in lime plaster, repair or reinstatement of timber doors or windows to stables and byres and structural repairs to prevent walls leaning over.
Anna Meenan, project manager with the Heritage Council, said the aim was to protect the special qualities of the traditional farmstead while allowing it to continue in active use.
"If we lose these wonderful diverse buildings, our landscape will be all the duller," she said. "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."
Application packs are available online at www.heritagecouncil.ie. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday, November 25, 2013.