Press release: Irish Georgian Society calls for greater support for building conservation
Posted by IGS
The Irish Georgian Society has called for significantly increased public support for building conservation projects on the fifth anniversary of its own conservation grants scheme.
To mark this anniversary, the Irish Georgian Society, in association with the Heritage Council, held a conference in November titled Taken for Granted: spending to save Ireland's architectural heritage. This highlighted the excellent conservation work undertaken in recent years by owners, trusts and guardians of traditionally built buildings using grants from the Irish Georgian Society as well as funding from the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) and Heritage Council.
An Irish Georgian Society report on the BHIS (download here) was also presented at the conference which, the Society noted, identified significant and unexplained disparities in the size of grant allocations offered to different counties. It also highlighted a reduction in funding for the BHIS from €3.5 million to €2 million between 2017 to 2018. A recent announcement indicates a marginal increase to €2.5 million for 2019 which falls far short of requirements.
At the end of the conference a resolution was agreed which called for
(i) a meaningful increase in government funding for conservation grants
(ii) greater flexibility in timelines for the completion of projects
(iii) the need to provide support for the retention of skilled craftsmen that are vital to undertake conservation work. The full text of the resolution is attached.
The Irish Georgian Society has also announced details of 13 building conservation projects it supported this year which together received just under €50,000 in grants. These include a late seventeenth-century bridge, several churches, a medieval cathedral and various houses ranging from the modest to some of Ireland’s most architecturally important and historic houses. These grants supported essential structural repairs as well as the conservation of architectural features in need of urgent repair. The recipients include private owners, built heritage charities and local community groups. Further details of grant aided projects are attached.
Contact: Donough Cahill, Executive Director, Irish Georgian Society
T. 01 6798675
Image: Saunderscourt Gate Lodges, Co. Wexford