Over €1 million paid out under the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme in 2019
It has been just over a year since the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme (TFBS) was launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
The aim of the scheme is to make funds available to restore and preserve traditional farm buildings and other structures.
In 2019, €1,135,849.70 was paid out to 76 applicants. In total, 279 applications were received, with just 88 of these approved.
According to the department, all applications for the scheme are assessed against predetermined criteria and offers are then made by the Heritage Council.
There are many reasons why applications are not successful.
- The criteria are not met and the application is deemed to be ineligible;
- The applicant may need planning permission for the works and this has not been yet applied for, or it has been refused;
- The proposed works may cause damage to an established bird/bat roosting site, or the works may permanently damage another feature or biodiversity on the farm;
- For various reasons, an applicant may choose not to continue with an offer for a TFBS grant, or they may choose to defer the application for a period of time.
The department says that farm buildings and their related structures would be covered under the scheme, including yard surfaces, walls, gates and gate pillars, with the aim of returning these to practical use.
The DAFM makes all grant payments on this scheme following certification by the Heritage Council – which vary between €4,000 and €25,000.
The scheme will not cover more than 75% of the cost of the works, with the maximum available grant being €25,000.
The scheme is a division of the wider Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), and all participants in the latter can apply for the traditional buildings grant.
For anyone that wishes to submit an application for a TFBS grant, they must fill out a form and submit a hard copy application, along with any other relevant information to the Heritage Council by 5:00pm on Tuesday, February 18.
Applicants will receive an acknowledgement letter by the end of February, with an information seminar set to take place on March 12, for shortlisted applicants.
By the end of April, 2020, the DAFM and the Heritage Council will issue grant offers to successful applicants.
However, payments will not be issued to applicants until the end of the year.