Grants for some heritage projects but many lose out

Several heritage projects in County Kilkenny are receiving funding from the Heritage Council’s grant scheme in 2012, but many across the country will not receive money this year due to cutbacks.

Several heritage projects in County Kilkenny are receiving funding from the Heritage Council’s grant scheme in 2012, but many across the country will not receive money this year due to cutbacks.

Included this year are a heritage awareness programme, a River Nore awareness programme, a Butler Gallery Collection: 2012 Condition Survey, renovation of external furnishings at St Peter’s Ennisnag, preliminary conservation works (Phase 3) at Evans Home, works to St Nicholas Church, Newtown, Jerpoint, and publication of archaeological investigations at St Canice’s Cathedral.

The Heritage Council received a total of 775 grant applications for this year, but due to budgetary constrains only 372 projects will receive funding under the scheme. As a result 403 projects, the majority of which are community-based, will not receive any funding for 2012 and now face a very uncertain future.

“While we are delighted to support heritage projects in County Kilkenny this year, we are very disappointed that in total we are only able to provide funding to less than half of the projects which applied for support under the 2012 Grants Scheme. In addition many of the projects are only receiving a small portion of the funds requested,” said Heritage Council CEO Michael Starrett.

“These projects offer real and significant sustainable economic benefits to the Irish economy through job creation and promotion of local tourism. The heritage sector has been decimated through budget cuts in recent years and the reduction in the number of grants we are able to support this year is a worrying trend.”

“Despite the reduction in funding available and the critical review which the Heritage Council is currently undergoing as part of the Public Service Reform programme, we are determined that heritage projects in communities nationwide which make Ireland distinctive and unique are protected for the future,” he said.

In 2012, the Heritage Council will allocate approximately €1.5 million under the Heritage Grant Scheme to 372 heritage projects across Ireland. This is a reduction of over 50% when compared with the budget allocated in 2011, and 80% when compared with 2008.