This year, Sligo Conservation Plan Programme, Wetlands for Wildlife and People, Seminar - Heritage Buildings at Risk, Conservation of works on paper from the Niland Collection, Ahamlish COI Grange - Emergency Stabilistion and Conservation Works, Roof repairs to Markree Castle, and Celebrating Sligo: Sligo Charter 400 are just some of the projects in Sligo to receive support under the Heritage Council Grant Scheme for 2012.
The Heritage Council received a total of 775 grant applications for 2012 however due to budgetary constrains only 372 projects will receive funding under the Scheme this year. 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.
Speaking about the Grants Scheme, the Heritage Council Chief Executive, Michael Starrett, commented that, “while we are delighted to support heritage projects in County Sligo 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. 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. “
In 2012, the Heritage Council will allocate approximately 1.5 million under the Heritage Grant Scheme to 372 heritage projects acrossIreland. This is a reduction of over 50% when compared with the budget allocated in 2011 and 80% when compared with 2008.
Research of the 2010 and 2011 Grants Scheme found that every €1m spent on grants by the Heritage Council supported 70 jobs directly and 300 jobs across a range of related sectors. Research also shows that in 2010, Heritage Council funded projects attracted approximately 18,700 tourists, while every €1 spent by the Heritage Council generated €4.40 for the Irish tourism industry. When surveyed, 62% of organisations who received a grant from the Heritage Council in 2011 believe tourism would have declined in their region if they had not received the grant.
“We believe that the projects supported through our Grants Scheme have a key role to play in developing the value of the heritage sector to employment, education and the quality of heritage tourism. The Heritage Council Strategic Plan 2012-2016 which was launched recently by Minister Jimmy Deenihan T.D. outlines the clear role the Grants Scheme can play in making the most of our heritage assets through conserving, maintaining and enhancing heritage buildings, collections, habitats and sites”, concluded Mr. Starrett.
In County Sligo projects which will receive funding in 2012 include;
Isabell Smyth, Head of Communications & Education, The Heritage Council, 056 7770777 / 087 967 6889
Michelle Tritschler, MKC Communications 01 7038604 / 0863846630
The Heritage Council is the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland’s national heritage. National heritage includes Monuments, Archaeological objects, Heritage objects, Architectural heritage, Flora, Fauna, Wildlife habitats, Landscapes, Seascapes, Wrecks, Geology, Heritage gardens and parks, and Inland waterways.
Established under the Heritage Act 1995, and operating under the aegis of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, the Heritage Council provides advice to the Minister, and partners and networks with Local Authorities and a wide range of other organisations and individuals to promote Ireland’s heritage.
The Heritage Council Grants Programme which is part funded by the National Lottery has awarded over 3000 awards since it began in 1998. Each of these awards has helped raise the awareness and importance of Ireland’s national heritage. Grants are awarded under three grant schemes including Heritage Research, Heritage Management, and Heritage Education, Community & Outreach.
Heritage Research Grants will provide assistance for data collection and research relating to Ireland’s heritage. Heritage Management Grants will support projects that apply best heritage practice to the management of places, collections or objects. Heritage Education, Community and Outreach Grants will support initiatives linking heritage to communities through education and outreach, promoting active engagement with our natural and cultural heritage, and creating awareness of the vulnerable and threatened aspects of heritage.