01/02/2013 Minister Deenihan Funding of Heritage Projects under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme
Minister Deenihan Funding of Heritage Projects under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,. Jimmy Deenihan TD, has today (1st February 2013) announced the introduction of a new measure developed by his Department in co-operation with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to fund local heritage projects through the Rural Development Programme.
The new scheme makes LEADER funding available for well designed and appropriate heritage projects for :
monuments and places protected under the National Monuments Acts;
protected structures and architectural conservation areas listed under the Planning and Development Act 2000;
protected nature conservation sites;
protected species of flora and fauna and their key habitats;
other nature conservation sites and biodiversity areas.
“Our heritage is a fragile and finite resource”, the Minister said. “If its special qualities are degraded, they can rarely be restored”. He said that properly designed and managed conservation projects would have many beneficial effects. “They will prolong the life of a historic structure, protect archaeological and natural heritage resources, create a sense of pride in local heritage and draw tourists and other visitors”.
The Minister said that guidelines have been issued to LEADER Local Action Groups for project promoters planning to undertake eligible heritage projects under the Rural Development Programme. “The guidance sets out clearly the statutory requirements for such projects and the best practice standards expected by my Department for all works affecting our unique and irreplaceable heritage”. The Minister said that his Department’s heritage services are “committed to encouraging and supporting all properly designed and managed heritage projects from preliminary proposal through to project completion and publication”.
Project promoters and Local Action Groups can also access the new guidance and associated forms here.