Some 60 projects have been proposed for approval under the first tranche of the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has announced.

The total associated grant-aid under this first tranche of the scheme is exceeding €800,000, the Minister said.

The scheme, which is open to GLAS farmers only, will award grants not exceeding 75% of the cost of the works with a maximum grant of €25,000 and a minimum grant of €4,000 being made available.

A wide range of projects are being supported, including restoration of traditional barns and byres, stables, walls, gates and gate-pillars.

Approved works

Grants will be made available to GLAS participants to carry out approved conservation works to traditional farm buildings including:

  • Roofs.
  • Outside surface of walls.
  • Windows and doors.
  • Grants will also be available for other related structures.
  • Historic yard surfaces.
  • Landscape features around the farmyard such as walls, gate pillars and gates.

Speaking following the announcement, the Minister said that this is a small but very important scheme which will make a huge contribution to preservation of our rural heritage and the enhancement of the rural landscape.

He also added that the fact that all of these buildings must be put back into some form of agricultural use ensured their ongoing relevance into the future.

“These are beautiful structures, made of local materials by local craftsmen, and I think we are all learning to appreciate how important this part of our heritage is,” the Minister said.

The GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme builds upon the success of a similar scheme under REPS4 (2007-2013) which saw over 350 buildings nationwide restored and over 140 previously unknown roosts of protected species discovered and conserved, the Department has said.

Under the new scheme, grants are available to GLAS participants to carry out approved conservation works to traditional farm buildings and associated structures.

According to the Department, the principal objective of this scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and which are of significant heritage value are conserved for agricultural use.

The scheme is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture, and the EU, and is administered on behalf of the Department by the Heritage Council.

The financial allocation to the scheme is €6m for the lifetime of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

All applications are assessed individually to identify the best and highest priority projects. Further applications will be invited at regular intervals throughout the Programming period to end December 2020.