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December 18, 2013

Minister Deenihan launches new €5 million Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, has launched a new fund of €5 million – the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme – for the repair and conservation of protected structures.

This fund will support a significant number of projects on protected buildings across the country, and will generate employment in the conservation and construction industries and specialist trades.

The Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme will encourage the investment of private capital through the provision of matching public funds in a large number of small-scale, labour-intensive projects across Ireland. The aim of projects will be to repair and conserve historic structures while supporting the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftworkers and tradespeople.

Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000 with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded. Minister Deenihan is today announcing the allocation that will go to each local authority.

Minister Deenihan commented: “There are about 50,000 protected structures in Ireland. Thousands of people live in historic buildings. Therefore, I am pleased to announce such a significant investment in Ireland’s built heritage.

“Our historic built environment contributes to the vitality of our cities, towns, villages and countryside. It add to our tourism product. And, it also makes a significant contribution to economic prosperity by providing direct and indirect employment in specialist construction and conservation work.

“This scheme is a major financial boost for heritage structures. The €5 million in public funds is designed to be matched by a further €5 million from private sources, making a real and positive impact on protected buildings across Ireland whilst also generating employment in the construction and skilled crafts and trades.

“During the crisis, built heritage lost more than 90% of its budget. This allocation of €5 million from the National Lottery sale is an absolutely crucial investment in our heritage buildings. I want this scheme to leverage significant private investment to deliver a much-needed boost for heritage buildings, and for jobs in construction and skilled crafts and trades.”

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