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Funding available for heritage projects in County Donegal

The Heritage Council is inviting applications to its Community Heritage Grant Scheme which is part of the rescue package for the heritage sector announced by the Minister for Heritage & Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan.  The aims of the grant scheme are to support capital projects that improve access and inclusion to heritage sites and that apply good heritage practice to the management of places, collections, objects and buildings.  The scheme also supports the purchase of essential equipment.  Grant applications must be submitted using the Heritage Council’s on-line application system at www.heritagecouncil.ie by 5 p.m. on the closing date of Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

“The heritage sector is facing serious challenges, including business closures and job losses, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic so the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme as part of the government’s stimulus package is a welcome announcement” said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.  “Even during the lockdown, the potential of our natural, built and cultural heritage to our quality of life came to the fore.  Many people sought to explore and engage with the heritage in their locality and their engagement with heritage improved people’s mood, contributed to their well-being and was a source of learning.  The announcement that €550,000 will be made available nationally this year for the Community Heritage Grant Scheme is most welcome and goes some way to providing much needed support for heritage initiatives in the county.  Eligible projects that can be considered under the scheme include projects relating to access, inclusion, interpretation, community-led surveys, local heritage audits, the purchase of specialised equipment, conservation of objects or collections, the preparation of conservation reports or conservation management plans, community-led building conservation works, and habitat or species conservation projects.”

Due to a lack of resources, The Heritage Council has not been in a position to offer the very popular Community Heritage Grant Scheme for the past two years.  When it last operated, The Heritage Council awarded €82,800 in funding for eighteen heritage initiatives in County Donegal to community groups throughout the county.  Please note the scheme does not cover works to carry out any part of any public sector body’s statutory or core responsibilities; undergraduate or postgraduate studies; archaeological excavations or post-excavation analysis and reporting; memorials; amenity landscaping works; exhibitions, conferences or training; publications or primary school projects.  Grants of up to €15,000 can be awarded.  Funding of up to 80% of the project cost can be sought.  Match funding by way of voluntary contributions or benefit in kind is acceptable.  Applications to the Community Heritage Grant Scheme can only be made using the on-line application system on the Heritage Council website prior to the September 15 deadline.  Projects must be completed by November 23, 2020.

Further information on the grant scheme is available by contacting The Heritage Council in Kilkenny on (056) 777 0777 or at www.heritagecouncil.ie/funding.  Advice on applications is also available from the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576.

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