29/12/2014 175 jobs created and €15m invested in historic buildings through Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme – Minister Humphreys
- Nationally, 540 historic structures conserved and repaired under the €5 million Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme funded from the National Lottery Licence transaction
- €5 million taxpayer investment unlocks €10 million in private funds
- 175 full time equivalent jobs directly generated in 2014
- Scheme twins conservation and restoration with Government aims of economic development and job creation
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Monday) announced the end of year results for the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme 2014. The scheme generated 175 jobs, and a total of €15 million was invested in 540 projects across the country.
By making it a condition of the scheme that taxpayer funds were at least matched by private funding, the €5 million supplied by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht unlocked at least €10 million in private funding for these projects. The scheme was administered by local authorities.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:
“Ireland’s heritage buildings and protected structures are a vital part of our villages, towns, cities and also the rural landscape. This scheme has been a cornerstone of investment in built heritage at local level around the country and has played a key part in the wider re-investment in core areas of our towns and cities.
“The linkage between conservation works, employment, and the leveraging of private sector investment has been enthusiastically adopted nationally. The allocation of this funding in 2014 has also re-ignited private sector investment in heritage buildings, both urban and rural.
“This innovative approach aligned heritage assets with economic growth and shows how historic buildings are not only an intrinsic part of Ireland’s heritage, but can also provide a real boost to job creation in the construction, conservation and tourism sectors. The heritage sector has long argued that heritage conservation supports employment in SMEs, and the results of this scheme demonstrate that this is the case.
“I particularly wish to acknowledge the contribution of the local authorities in embracing this scheme which has had a positive impact on protected structures across the country. I am also delighted by the response of private owners and their willingness to release substantial private matching funds and invest in our built heritage.”
Note to Editors:
Structures funded under the scheme included churches, country houses, townhouses and thatched properties. More unusual structures also benefitted, such as follies, workhouses, railway structures and former market houses.
Forty-seven structures funded have been rated in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage as being of national importance with one – St Colman’s Cathedral Cobh – rated as being of international importance.
While many of the structures are either private domestic dwellings or places of worship, a large number of commercial and tourism/heritage structures were also funded.
A great number of projects had a public/community aspect (150 in total) and in many cases, the works completed under the scheme will permit greater public access to historic structures or improve educational use through new interpretation of heritage buildings.
In certain cases, previously unsuitable buildings can now be made available for community use: local communities can now host events such as performances, dances, classes, exhibitions and local volunteer groups and can hire out buildings for public events and functions.