There are a range ongoing funding and grant opportunities relating to all areas of heritage across Ireland. Commitment and financial support are vital to the successful undertaking of many projects. A flexible approach is adopted by Clare County Council and finance is sought as opportunities arise, and from alternative funding sources where required. The below provides information about current grant programmes which offer funding opportunities to community groups and individuals, at various times of the year, both within Clare County Council and at a national level. It is vital to carefully read the funding eligibility so as to ensure that your project qualified under the relevant programme.
Local community grants scheme
Clare County Council runs a range of Community Grant Schemes, many of which relate broadly to heritage or have heritage management aspects embedded in their aims.
As part of our commitment to supporting communities, Clare County Council has launched its Community Supports Scheme. This funding is based on Clare County Council’s Annual Budget. It is available to support community and voluntary groups wishing to undertake specific projects under the relevant categories of the Scheme. Animation support will be provided to community groups through the team of Rural & Community Development Officers. For more information see CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL community supports scheme 2021 guidelines for applicants.
Clare Local Development Company provides grants for built and biodiversity projects to the self-employed, community and voluntary groups, entrepreneurs, the unemployed, farm families, children and youth.
CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted investment programme for rural areas. The Clár Scheme aims to provide funding for small scale infrastructural projects for schools/ established community group projects in areas which have suffered the greatest levels of population decline. The CLÁR Scheme is managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Heritage Council supports a wide range of heritage projects throughout the country through their annual grants programme and include the Community Heritage Grant scheme and the Heritage Sector Support scheme. Information on Heritage Council funding programmes can be viewed on the Heritage Council website.
Built heritage grants
There is a range of grants and financial measures available which are outlined below. Some of these are more applicable to certain types of building, and certain types of owners.
They can often be combined together and used to provide funds year after year. In general, they are annual schemes and have application forms, which have to be submitted before works commence; inspections are carried out and there are conditions pertaining to most projects. It is worth noting that these grant schemes and closing dates are valid at the time of publication and may change over time. Please check with the specified grant source before applying.
Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2022
The Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2022 (BHIS) is one of two built heritage funding schemes run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in association with the 31 Local Authorities. Through grants of up to €15,000, the BHIS assists owners of heritage structures – including those on the local authorities’ Record of Protected Structures and those in Architectural Conservation Areas – to meet their obligations to care for their properties.
GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme
The Heritage Council, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine manages the GLAS Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme. The principal objective of this scheme is to ensure that traditional farm buildings and other related structures that contribute to the character of the landscape and are of significant heritage value, are conserved for active agricultural use.
Thatching grant - Department of Housing Planning and Local Government
Thatching grant (Department of Housing Planning and Local Government) is for renovation works to thatched roofs which are at least 10 years old. The house must be in use as a normal place of residence (holiday homes are not eligible).
Financial Assistance for Architectural Heritage
Financial Assistance for Architectural Heritage is availed nationally. Financial assistance is provided to assist with the conservation and restoration of heritage properties through schemes which are generally administered by the local authorities.
Irish Georgian Society Grants Scheme
The Irish Georgian Society Grants Scheme is operated by the Irish Georgian Society on an annual basis for conservation works to significant architecture and allied features of all periods. Grant must be returned if structure is sold within 3 years. An application form and details are available directly from the Irish Georgian Society. Closing date varies.
Section 482 (Revenue Commissioners
Section 482 (Revenue Commissioners): Consolidated Taxes Act Structures and gardens of significant historical or architectural interest can, with the approval of the Revenue Commissioners, receive tax breaks on any funding expended on their repair or upgrading. There is a requirement to allow limited public access (for a minimum of 60 days), which can be attractive for buildings already with public access, such as offices, commercial buildings, galleries or guest houses.
The Historic Towns Initiative
The Historic Towns Initiative is aimed for important heritage projects located within the country's historic towns. In 2019, Clare County Council and Kilrush & District Historical Society have been successful in securing funding for a heritage-led regeneration project, the Turret Lodge in Kilrush. The Historic Towns Initiative is administered by the Heritage Council.
For further information on financial assistance for protected structures and historic buildings visit the Clare County Council website.
Natural heritage grants
The below information is drawn from National parks and wildlife service website.
Funding for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity related projects are available from a number of National, European and International sources. The sections below provide information on different sources of funding available.
Community environment action fund
The ‘Community environment action fund’ promotes sustainable development by assisting small-scale environmental projects at local level. Projects involve partnership arrangements between local authorities and various local groups including community groups, schools and environmental NGOs. Communities can apply through our Greener Clare programme for funding under the Community Environment Action Fund previously known as the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund. For further queries relating to this grant scheme please email email@example.com
Environment and Nature fund
The Community Foundation for Ireland is inviting community groups to apply for grant funding through the Environment and Nature fund to engage an ecologist and develop a Community Biodiversity Plan (CBP) for their local area. Within the scheme, three levels of grant funding will be offered:
- Local Communities: Actions to help pollinators. Local Community projects play a leading role in implementing the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. For support and guidance, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre website
- Two Funding Schemes for Biodiversity Recording have been announced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Royal Irish Academy. Both schemes provide an opportunity for experienced Dragonfly and Damselfly recorders to target specific habitats or species for recording.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The EPA also provides funding for environmental research which may include biodiversity research.
- Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) Funding The FLAG scheme is a fisheries local development programme, which has been allocated €12 million funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme. This funding is focused on community-led development to enhance the economic opportunities and social sustainability of Fisheries and Aquaculture dependent areas, aimed at supporting job creation, adding value, promoting innovation as well as enhancing environmental assets and promoting each area’s maritime cultural heritage.
- Geological Survey Ireland offers a number of small grants each year to support the sustainable development, promotion and recognition of Ireland's geoheritage. These grants are aimed at local community-driven outreach and development initiatives with a geoheritage theme and aimed at supporting small community-driven geoheritage initiatives to assist:
- The Local Authority Waters Programme is working to identify the issues affecting water quality in Ireland. The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage funds LAWPRO to provide the Community Water Development Fund. This fund supports community groups to enhance the quality of local streams, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. The fund has been in place since 2017, with growing interest year on year.
- The Marine Institute is Ireland's national agency with responsibility to undertake, co-ordinate, promote and assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to marine research and development. The Marine Institute provides funding for biodiversity related research in the marine environment.
- The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) is funded by the State under the National Development Plan. Their Embark Initiative is aimed at knowledge creation for the long-term benefit of society and the economy. Embark currently funds research in the areas of basic research, Post-graduate research and Post-doctoral research, which may occasionally include biodiversity related research.
- Teagasc is a semi-state organisation established under legislation enacted by the Irish government. It provides integrated research, advisory and training services for the agriculture and food industry in Ireland. Under the Walsh Post-graduate Fellowship Scheme, Teagasc provides support and funding for Post-graduate research in all aspects of agriculture, horticulture, food, agri-food economics, rural development and rural environment, as well as specific topics identified for priority funding each year.
- The Forest Service is responsible for ensuring the development of forestry within Ireland in a manner and to a scale that maximises its contribution to national socio-economic well-being on a sustainable basis that is compatible with the protection of the environment. Funding may be available for biodiversity related forestry research from time to time. These funds were expended by COFORD (The National Council for Forest Research and Development).
European funding for natural heritage
EU LIFE is the Financial Instrument for the Environment, introduced in 1992, is one of the spearheads of the European Union's environmental policy. It co-finances projects in three areas: Life-Nature, Life Environment and Life Third Countries.
The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an association of 78 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. Following agreement with funding agencies from a number of European countries, the European Science Foundation launched a first Call for Outline Proposals for research projects to be executed under the EUROCORES programme Challenges of Biodiversity Science (EuroDIVERSITY).
The European Union has numerous funding opportunities for environmental projects. An overview of the current funding opportunities available for Irish Researchers is available through the 7th EU Framework Programme Ireland website.
International funding for natural heritage
As a member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), Irish researchers can apply for the funding opportunities that they occasionally announce.
Cultural heritage funding
The Heritage Council supports a wide range of heritage projects throughout the country through their annual grants programme.
Creative Ireland is government initiative, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. For information on potential funding visit Creative Ireland project awards 2021. For more information on the Clare Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018-2022 for further information on Creative Clare visit the Creative Ireland website
At a national level, Foras na Gaeilge run a number of funding schemes aimed at supporting the growth of the Irish language. Visit the Foras na Gaeilge website for more information.
The Ireland Funds (Arts and Culture)
The Ireland funds
The Ireland funds support Irish culture and heritage by providing funding for programs that promote cultural awareness and understanding; preserve uniquely Irish art forms and artefacts; increase public access to a variety of art forms and collections; and ensure the protection of and access to Irish heritage sites and resources.
The Community foundation for Ireland
The Community foundation for Ireland is the first Community Foundation in Ireland, part of a global network of 1800 community foundations. It provides funding focused on Olders Persons, Women, Environment and Nature and Culture.
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