Heritage grants to be issued to GLAS farmer applicants

A total of 318 applications were received for the 2017 – Tranche II – GLAS grants for farm building repairs, with offers due to issue shortly, according to a spokesperson for the Heritage Council.

The council shortlisted 93 projects on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and expects to issue at least 80 offers.

The scheme is only open to farmers with a GLAS contract with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. It is managed by The Heritage Council in partnership with the department, which funds it.

The main aim is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape, and are of significant heritage value, are conserved for agricultural use.

Grants can vary from €4,000 to the largest amount of €25,000. No grant will be for more than 75% of the total cost. There must be at least 25% input from applicants. Last year’s grants ranged from 52% to 75%.

All traditional buildings in agricultural use are eligible. They must be part – or made part – of farm activities. The Heritage Council spokesperson said they are not interested in creating museum pieces.

This photograph (below) shows a case where roofs were grant-aided. “They are quite small buildings but every inch of them is used by a Laois suckler farmer, who also keeps a couple of horses.

Heritage

“A Wexford farmer’s wise mantra was ‘use them or lose them’ and we encourage people to make use of existing resources,” the Heritage Council spokesperson said.

Other related farm structures and features such as gates; bridges; piers; and cobbled yards, are also eligible. The repairs must be of public benefit and there is a strong emphasis on habitat, environmental and landscape benefits.

Dates are not yet decided for the opening of the next tranche but it is planned to be before the end of this year, the spokesperson said. Those interested can sign up to a newsletter on the homepage of www.heritagecouncil.ie

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