Wicklow County Council adopts new five-year heritage plan
Wicklow's Third Heritage Plan aims to conserve the natural, built and cultural heritage of the Garden County and to foster a greater awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of this by all.
The Heritage Plan 2017-2022 was prepared by the Wicklow Heritage Forum, a partnership group set up by Wicklow County Council and facilitated through the Heritage Office.
Deirdre Burns, the council's Heritage Officer, explained the background to the draft document at the July meeting of Wicklow County Council.
'The Heritage Plan represents a strategic approach to the management of heritage in county Wicklow that is underpinned by both National and local heritage policy,' said Ms Burns.
This includes monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens and parks and inland waterways. Additionally, the Wicklow plan makes provision for other aspects of cultural heritage such as history, genealogy, traditional skills and place names.
The heritage plan will be implemented through the annual work programme, overseen by the Wicklow Heritage Forum and co-ordinated the Heritage Officer.
While the Wicklow Heritage Forum, Wicklow County Council and the Heritage Council are key partners in the delivery of the plan, there is a significant role for the wider 'heritage community' in Wicklow, which includes additional community groups, agencies, third level institutions and individuals.
The council will consider funding allocation for the delivery of the plan in accordance with the annual budget.
Delivery of the heritage plan is also facilitated by an annual funding allocation from the Heritage Council in the range of €25,000 to €30,000 and co-funded by Wicklow County Council.
Cllr Steven Matthews proposed that the elected members adopt the draft heritage plan.
'I am glad this document has been put together and we are preserving and looking after our natural heritage, history and biodiversity,' he said.
Cllr Tommy Cullen praised the work of Ms Burns but felt the Heritage Office was under-resourced.
'On a very limited budget the Heritage Office has created a heritage blueprint for Wicklow, which is very important,' said Cllr Cullen.
'I think it is a tribute to Wicklow County Council that we have a Heritage Officer, but I do think the Heritage Office needs more resources.'