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Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2023

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced funding of €4.1 million to develop and enhance over 150 outdoor recreation projects.

The investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will be key to enhancing our mountain trails, forest walks, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

It will also provide a boost to local economies by attracting more visitors to our rural communities.

Up to €30,000 will be invested in each project under today’s round of funding – with a focus being placed on small scale enhancements, upgrades and repairs.

The Waterford projects being funded include:

Waterford ORIS Recipients

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“With summer just a couple of months away, I’m really pleased to announce over €4.1 million to develop over 150 outdoor recreation projects right across Rural Ireland. The investment I’m announcing today will greatly enhance the natural amenities right on our doorstep – from our walkways, mountain trails and forest walks, to our cycleways, beaches and rivers. I believe the projects receiving funding today will play an important role in attracting more visitors to our rural towns and villages. So my big message as Minister today is to get out and explore those hidden gems in your community. The clocks are going forward this weekend – a perfect reason to go on that hike or cycle and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Minister Humphreys continued:

“The Government’s Rural Development policy, ‘Our Rural Future’ and the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy, ‘Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors’, have together set the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come. The health benefits from engaging in outdoor activity combined with the economic and social benefits that can be achieved by this investment for rural Ireland, will no doubt serve us well in to the future. That is why I am making this funding available today and I look forward to making further announcement for larger scale investment in this sector in the coming weeks.”

A full list of successful projects is available here .

The announcement today will also benefit local communities with new or enhanced outdoor facilities while also helping to support local economies by continuing to offer domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities.

This funding will be invested in 151 outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, since its establishment in 2017, to almost 1,600 nationwide.

These projects, under Measure 1, are to receive funding of up to €30,000 and will be delivered by September 2025. Further announcements of successful projects under Measures 2 and 3 of ORIS 2023 will be made in the coming weeks.

The funding announced today is in addition to the €2.3m which was announced in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS.

ENDS

Good news for Built Heritage in Waterford

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage recently announced two funding schemes for Protected Structures and historic buildings: the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2024 and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2024.

Since 2016, Waterford City and County has been allocated  €1.4 million for conservation projects under these schemes. So far this has supported 137 projects, provided over 10,000 days of employment and has generated a spend of €3 million. These figures do not include the non-conservation element of projects which generated additional employment and spend.  The projects ranged in scope from essential repairs of rainwater goods, walls, windows, thatch roofs, stained glass, to large-scale repairs of buildings.

The Department notes that the quality of our historic built environment can have a profound effect on how we live. It contributes to the vitality of our cities, towns, villages and countryside, instils a sense of pride of place, and enhances the quality of our everyday lives.

The historic built environment makes a significant contribution to economic prosperity by attracting investment, providing direct and indirect employment, as well as sustaining a traditional skills base for wider application. Our built heritage is one of the main attractions for visitors to Ireland, so its conservation also reinforces and promotes our tourism industry as well as contributing to the regeneration of urban and rural areas.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2024 

The BHIS scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale, labour-intensive projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of Protected Structures and in certain cases, the conservation of structures within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA). Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000, with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded. In relation to projects funded within an ACA, the maximum amount is €10,000 per individual project.

The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2024

Funding for the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) is being made available as part of Project Ireland 2040. Total funding available nationally under the Historic Structures fund in 2024 will be €4 million.

Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.

Stream 1, Historic Shopfronts sub-stream – To incentivise the conservation of historic shopfronts, each Local Authority is invited to submit an additional application under Stream 1 for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Local Authorities are also invited to make an additional application for Irish-language shopfronts.

Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where a clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated, or a clear residential benefit has been demonstrated (such projects must be advanced through the planning process as necessary)

A grant of over €200,000 may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where a case is made by the applicant in relation to the significance of the project and the works proposed.

Vernacular Structures Stream – In the context of A Living Tradition: A Strategy to Enhance the Understanding, Minding and Handing on of Our Built Vernacular Heritage (2021), the stream for vernacular structures is being retained for 2024, with funding of €150,000. The purpose of the stream is to support conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. Such structures may be located within an Architectural Conservation Area.

These schemes will be administered by Waterford City and County Council. The criteria with a complete list of qualifying works, the application forms and checklist, and the guidance notes for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2024 and Historic Structures Fund 2024 are now available on https://www.waterfordcouncil.ie/media/grants/index.htm

Completed application forms and photos of the structures to be submitted by email only to Planning@waterfordcouncil.ie by 5pm, January 19th, 2024. Only applications received by this date will be considered.  Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full, in order to be processed. Successful applicants must have the works completed by September 27th 2024.

For further information about the schemes or to submit the application form please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council by emailing rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

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The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2024

Funding for the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) is being made available as part of Project Ireland 2040. Total funding available nationally under the Historic Structures fund in 2024 will be €4 million

1. Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.

2. Stream 1, Historic Shopfronts sub-stream – To incentivise the conservation of historic shopfronts, each Local Authority is invited to submit an additional application under Stream 1 for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Local Authorities are also invited to make an additional application for Irish-language shopfronts.

3. Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where:

a. A clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated, or

b. A clear residential benefit has been demonstrated (such projects must be advanced through the planning process as necessary)

A grant of over €200,000 may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where a case is made by the applicant in relation to the significance of the project and the works proposed.

4. Vernacular Structures Stream – In the context of A Living Tradition: A Strategy to Enhance the Understanding, Minding and Handing on of Our Built Vernacular Heritage (2021), the stream for vernacular structures is being retained for 2024, with funding of €150,000. The purpose of the stream is to support conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. Such structures may be located within an Architectural Conservation Area. All local authorities can apply for funding for specific projects of between €5,000 and €10,000.

The scheme will be administered by the Conservation Section,  Waterford City and County Council.   If you are interested, please download the application form and checklist.  There is  also a guidance  to assist applicants with information in relation to the application process and operation. All forms are also available in Irish.

Completed application forms and photos of the structures to be submitted only  by email  to Planning@waterfordcouncil.ie by 5pm on 19th  of January 2024. Only applications received by this date  will be considered.  Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full, in order to be processed. Successful applicants must have the works completed by the 27th of September 2024.

If  you have any queries in relation to the schemes or wish to submit the application form by post  please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council. e-mail:  rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Downloads

Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2024

The BHIS scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale, labour-intensive projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of Protected Structures and in certain cases, the conservation of structures within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA). Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000, with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded. In relation to projects funded within an ACA, the maximum amount is €10,000 per individual project.

The scheme will be administered by the Conservation Section,  Waterford City and County Council.   If you are interested, please download the application form and checklist.  There is  also a guidance booklet   and a  list  of qualifying works and non-qualifying works  to assist applicants with information in relation to the application process and operation.

  • Completed application forms and photos of the structures to be submitted only by email to Planning@waterfordcouncil.ie by 5pm on 19th  of January 2024.

Only applications received by this date  will be considered.  Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full, in order to be processed. Successful applicants must have the works completed by  the 27th of September 2024.

If you have any queries in relation to the schemes or wish to submit the application form by post  please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council. e-mail:  rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Downloads

Minister Noonan announces €2.7 million funding for local biodiversity projects

  • 188 community projects across all 31 local authorities have received funding through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF) 
  • LBAF projects include restoration, invasive species management, surveys, education and awareness projects
  • All projects support the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan
  • Small Recording Grants scheme funds 67 local projects

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has today announced a combined €2.7m in funding for local biodiversity projects. Over €2.5 million is being awarded to local authorities to carry out biodiversity projects through the Local Biodiversity Action Fund (LBAF) and €193k is being granted to the natural history recording community through the Small Recording Grants scheme.

Local Biodiversity Action Fund

Operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the scheme was first launched in 2018. Since then, a total of just over €6m has been granted to local authorities through the LBAF for projects that support actions in the 3rd National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP). This year’s grants will build on that investment.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD:

“Given that it’s Biodiversity Week, I’m especially delighted to announce funding of over €2.5 million for 188 biodiversity projects. The Local Biodiversity Action Fund is an enormously impactful scheme that supports local authorities and communities to deliver on Ireland’s national objectives for nature, from invasive species to habitat restoration to awareness-raising to surveys and monitoring work. As more and more Biodiversity Officers join the ranks of our local authorities, I know that the benefits for nature and people that this Fund provides are only going to grow.”

A total of 188 projects have been approved across all 31 local authorities, covering a range of biodiversity-related activities, including invasive alien species control, dune restoration, wetland surveys and biodiversity awareness and training.

Projects approved this year include:

  • 8 local authorities joining together to monitor the Quagga mussel invasive species in the Shannon
  • 3 local authorities supporting The Shannon Dolphin Project, which is 30 years old this year (2023) making it one of the longest dolphin studies in Europe
  • Habitat mapping in Cork
  • Development of an Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Galway City Council
  • Installation of closed predator-proof fences at five key breeding wader sites in County Donegal
  • Hedgerow survey in Kilkenny County

Small Recording Grants

A grant scheme providing support to Ireland’s natural history recording community is now in operation for a fifth year, with growing popularity and record numbers of applicants. The Small Recording Grant scheme, managed by the NPWS, aims to help established naturalists recording in Ireland to maintain and enhance their expertise in species identification, and to develop the next generation of natural history recorders.

The Small Recording Grants scheme supports volunteers, groups, societies and associations of recorders who have limited or no access to financial supports for their work. 67 applicants have been notified of their funding allocations, at a combined total of €193k. The projects supported include:

  • Dissection Masterclass for Determination of Species of Moths
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies in County Tipperary
  • Sponge Recording Project
  • A Targeted Bioblitz Survey of Freshwater-Associated Taxa in the Burren
  • Wexford Barn Owl Project

The data generated by these recording exercises is utilised by the NPWS to inform its understanding of the distribution and ecology of many species and to assess their status. In turn, it informs advice on nature conservation objectives and practical measures to protect species and habitats.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD:

“It is fantastic to be able to fund these local initiatives once again. In 2022, my Department funded 24 projects to the tune of €70,000. This year, we have significantly increased resources for this very worthwhile scheme, with 67 projects approved at a cost of €193,000 – almost 3 times the projects and 3 times the funding.

“This scheme supports the work of the NPWS in recording many aspects of individual species that it would be almost impossible for my staff to carry out themselves.”

A full list of the projects funded under the Local Biodiversity Action Fund 2023 can be viewed or downloaded on the Department’ website:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aeb0e-local-biodiversity-action-fund-project-funding-2023/ 

ENDS

Carving of the arrival of the Magi shines at Ardmore Cathedral

On the exterior of the west gable of the Medieval Ardmore Cathedral, there are a number of carvings which depict various biblical scenes.  One of  functions of these carvings was  to illustrate stories from the Bible for the faithful. Usually twelfth century Irish churches were decorated with non figurative ornament based on geometric and foliage patterns.

Figurative works such as these, which consist of many panels, are extremely rare in Ireland. It is believed that the most probable sources of inspiration for this type of decoration are found in the Poitous-Angoumois region in France, where there is similar arcading with figures on the exterior of the western elevations of Churches. Those also date from 12th century, while elements of the iconography are also similar to depictions on Norman manuscripts. The off centre placement of the lunettes may indicate that further panels were intended or that the panels were reset with later modifications to the building.

The sculpture comprises of two large semicircular panels or lunettes and above the remains of  of thirteen round headed panels . The iconography of some of these panels has been interpreted, where is possible as: Majestas, an iconic formula of the enthroned Madonna with the child Jesus in the arms, The Last Judgment or Archangel Michael weighing the souls and a number of bishops.

It is probable that a number of smaller panels may have been eroded by time and weather, as a few are now blank. With regard to  two  larger lunettes,  one which depicts  Adam and Eve.  The other to the right   contains  the Judgment of Solomon in the upper section  and the lower section   the Adoration of Magi.  Which is celebrated on the 6th of January

The photo of the Adoration of the Magi, captured in a low winter light by Rose our Conservation Officer

Good news for Built Heritage in Waterford

Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has announced 2 funding schemes for Protected Structures and historic buildings – the Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2023 and the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) 2023

Since 2016, Waterford City and County Council has received funding of  over €1.6 million for conservation projects under these schemes. This has supported over 140 projects

In 2022, we received €533,710 in funding for 27 projects  which generated a spend of €1,171,825 and provided over 2,500 days of employment. These figures do not include the non conservation element of projects which generated additional employment and spend.  The projects ranged in scope from essential repairs of rainwater goods, walls, windows, thatch roofs, stained glass, to large-scale repairs of buildings.

Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) 2023 

The BHIS scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in small-scale, labour-intensive projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of Protected Structures and in certain cases, the conservation of structures within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACA).  Waterford has been allocated €182,400. Funding awards made under the scheme will be between €2,500 and €15,000, with applicants matching in full the grants being awarded.

The Historic Structures Fund (HSF)  2023.

Funding for the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) is being made available as part of Project Ireland 2040. Total funding available nationally under the Historic Structures fund in 2023 will be €4. 5 million The primary focus of the Historic Structures Fund will be on conservation and enhancement of historic structures and buildings for the broader benefit of communities and the public.

1. Stream 1 will offer grants from €15,000 up to €50,000 and is aimed at essential repairs and smaller capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of heritage structures.2. Stream 1, Historic Shopfronts sub-stream – As in 2023, to incentivise the conservation of historic shopfronts, each Local Authority is invited to submit an additional application under Stream 1 for eligible essential repairs and small capital works for the refurbishment and conservation of historic shop facades, windows, signage and other associated details to safeguard them and keep them in use. Local Authorities are invited to make  applications for a maximum of one English and one Irish-language shopfront under Stream 1

3. Stream 2 will offer a small number of grants from €50,000 up to €200,000 for larger enhancement, refurbishment or reuse projects involving heritage structures, where: a. A clear community or public benefit has been demonstrated, or b. A clear residential benefit has been demonstrated (such projects must be advanced through the planning process as necessary)In addition, refurbishment or reuse projects where a clear residential benefit is demonstrated will be welcomed this year under Stream 2 in line with Housing for All commitments. A grant of over €200,000 may be awarded in exceptional circumstances where a case is made by the applicant in relation to the significance of the project and the works proposed.

4. Vernacular Structures Stream –- In the context of the forthcoming strategy for built vernacular, the pilot stream for vernacular structures introduced in 2021 will be retained, with increased funding of €150,000. The purpose of the stream is to support conservation repairs and small capital works to vernacular structures that are not listed in local authority Records of Protected Structures or otherwise legally protected. Such structures may be located within an Architectural Conservation Area. All local authorities can apply for funding for specific projects of between €5,000 and €10,000 for eligible projects.

These schemes will be administered by Waterford City and County Council. The criteria, list of qualifying works, FAQs and the application forms for the Built Heritage Investment Scheme 2023 and Historic Structures Fund 2023 are now available on  www.waterfordcouncil.ie

Completed application forms and photos of the structures to be submitted only  by email  to Planning@waterfordcouncil.ie by 5 pm on 28th  of January 2023. Please ensure that the grant scheme name is in the subject line and note that all forms must be completed in full in order to be processed. Successful applicants must have the works completed by 30th of September 2023.

For further information or if you have any queries in relation to the schemes please contact: Rosemary Ryall, Executive Conservation Officer, Waterford City and County Council. e-mail:  rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Waterford City’s history brought to life by digital story walking trail

A new digital story trail featuring augmented reality (AR) offers tourists an engaging way to discover Waterford’s history via their smartphone.

Waterford City and County Council (WCCC) in partnership with Imvizar, have launched a new digital walking trail featuring augmented reality (AR). This fantastic trail has been funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Destination Town’s Initiative. The Waterford Digital Story Trail explores the history, culture, and heritage of 15 different locations in the heart of the city centre, including Reginald’s Tower and Waterford Crystal.

Through the use of augmented reality smartphone technology, visitors and locals can experience Waterford’s past by watching digital animations of characters and architecture appear as if they are in the physical world right in front of them. The trail can be accessed for free by scanning one of the numerous QR codes on signs located throughout the city trail.

In addition to meeting life-like characters from Waterford’s past, scanning the QR code also provides an audio tale from an historical figure, coupled with interesting facts and a timeline of events. Spanning over a thousand years of Waterford’s history, tourists can listen as Reginald—a Viking King and warlord from the 10th century—describes his quest to launch raids all over Ireland, and watch as Thomas Francis Meagher—the Leader of the Young Irelanders in the 1848 Rebellion—raises the first Irish tri-colour.

Waterford’s history of master craft making is also recognised; Rachel Penrose—the wife of one of the founders of Waterford Crystal, William Penrose—appears in a recreation of an 18th century glass-blowing scene. Trail users can also meet Anastasia Fleming, a silversmith from the late 1700s, and see a reimagined façade of her silversmith shop.

Adele Keane, Creative Producer, Imvizar said,

“When crafting the digital story trail we wanted to focus on conserving Waterford’s heritage by giving voices to both well-known and lesser-known historical figures. By hearing their stories, and sometimes seeing them in their surroundings, we can better put ourselves in their shoes and imagine what life was like as a silversmith in the 18th century or as a young soldier in World War I.”

WCCC hopes to further promote Waterford’s culture and history to both visitors and locals with the launch of the digital trail. The new augmented reality story trail from WCCC offers a fresh perspective on storytelling that evokes emotions and allows users to walk away with a more memorable experience.

For more information visit: https://digitalstorytrail.visitwaterford.com/  (The Digital Story Trail is a mobile experience)

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Notes for Editors

This project has been funded by Waterford City and County Council and supported by Ireland’s Ancient East. The digital story trail is part of WCCC’s wider Visit Waterford tourism initiative.

Heritage week Photo Competition – Take a picture of Waterford’s Medieval Walls & Towers

This coming week is Heritage Week and we’re having a photo competition !

Over the past few years Waterford City  & County Council have been working on our Medieval City Walls and Towers.

Last year, during the Public Consultation for Waterford’s Medieval Walls Interpretation Plan, people came back with their impressions and ideas for the walls.

This year we are working on a Medieval Walls and Towers Trail and also illuminating some of the walls.  For Heritage Week, we would like you to take some photos.
This competition is open to professional and amateur photographers.  You are welcome to submit up to a maximum of 5 photos and they can be of the Walls, Towers, features or activities along them, or even selfies. Photographers can submit existing or new photographs to this competition.

There are 2 categories:

  1. Students under 18
  2. Adults

** ENTER HERE **

The closing date is 26th of August and the winning photos will be posted on our social media. Any queries to rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Heritage week Photo Competition – Take a picture of Waterford’s Medieval Walls & Towers

This coming week is Heritage Week and we’re having a photo competition !

Over the past few years Waterford City  & County Council have been working on our Medieval City Walls and Towers.

Last year, during the Public Consultation for Waterford’s Medieval Walls Interpretation Plan, people came back with their impressions and ideas for the walls.

This year we are working on a Medieval Walls and Towers Trail and also illuminating some of the walls.  For Heritage Week, we would like you to take some photos.
This competition is open to professional and amateur photographers.  You are welcome to submit up to a maximum of 5 photos and they can be of the Walls, Towers, features or activities along them, or even selfies. Photographers can submit existing or new photographs to this competition.

There are 2 categories:

  1. Students under 18
  2. Adults

** ENTER HERE **

The closing date is 26th of August and the winning photos will be posted on our social media. Any queries to rryall@waterfordcouncil.ie

Mount Congreve awarded over €1m additional funding under Rural Regeneration & Development Fund

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD has announced that €1,125,135 in grant funding will be made available for the redevelopment and restoration of Mount Congreve Estate, in addition to €3,726,00 granted in 2019 under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund (RRDF) and Project Ireland 2040.

The additional funding has been welcomed by Waterford City and County Council.

Michael Quinn, Director of Services for Economic Development, WCCC said “The additional investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens is not only guaranteed to deliver a world class visitor centre, but also reaffirm Mount Congreve’s ranking as one of ‘the great gardens of the world.’ “

Upon completion, the project will deliver a tourism destination attracting 150,000 visitors annually, with an enhanced visitor experience to the gardens and planted woodlands.   Investment in the under developed assets on the estate will generate additional employment and revenue opportunities, along with increased visitor numbers, and ensure the long-term viability of this enormously important visitor attraction.

The re-invigoration of the gardens will create an iconic visitor experience at Mount Congreve, through improvements to the garden infrastructure, establishment of new plant collections and the installation of creative play features that tell the story of Mount Congreve.

To maximise the benefit of the 18th Century mansion house, a new purpose-built visitor hub is in development in the existing courtyard and stables adjacent the eastern wing of the house.

The courtyard area will be covered with a glazed roof, with many of the existing architectural features being retained, and will include a cafe, servery, kitchen areas, retail area and visitor facilities. As well as this, some works will be undertaken to the Main House to accommodate a visitor welcome space with reception area, ticketing, orientation and interpretation pre-show.

A new wetlands area is under construction, the car park area has been fully resurfaced, and works on pathways, interpretation and way-finding elements are all in progress.

Substantial completion of the project is expected to be achieved by the end of summer, with a soft opening planned for early autumn 2022.

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Six Heritage projects receive funding under Community Monuments Fund

Earlier this week the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, announced the award of grants for a wide range of archaeological heritage projects under the department’s 2022 Community Monuments Fund.

Building on the impact of last year’s scheme, this year 128 projects are being supported with an overall investment of €6 million, with Waterford City and County Council awarded an allocation of over €220,000 for six projects.heritage_waterford

Waterford City and County Council Heritage Officer Bernadette Guest welcomed the funding, an increase of over 100% on the 2021 allocation, which will support conservation repairs at  Molana Abbey, Stradbally Church, St. Nicholas Church in Ring,  St. Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore, repair of historic stonework at Kilgobnet Graveyard and Geophysical Survey at  Woodstown Viking Site.

“Allocation of funding will enable continuation of conservation works at these six unique heritage sites across County Waterford.  By safeguarding these monuments into the future, local communities can take pride in their history, while visitors will be able to visit these sites and experience the rich heritage of the areas.”

A total of eleven applications were submitted from Waterford and while only six of the projects were successful in the allocation of funding, Waterford City and County Council will work with the other five projects towards a resubmission in 2023.  The funding scheme is very competitive, however all the project proposals demonstrated strong merit reflecting the great diversity of heritage and work of local heritage groups across the city and county.”

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Joe Kelly also welcomed the allocation of funding, citing the importance of the conservation of Waterford’s heritage. “This funding is crucial to allow us to retain and protect our heritage.  Waterford’s history is embedded in its buildings and by preserving these structures we are preserving our history and fortifying our bonds with the past.”

He added, “This funding is essential in enabling stabilisation of our historic sites, along with important research on nationally significant sites such Woodstown Viking Site.”

The Waterford projects to receive funding under the 2022 Community Monuments Fund are:

  • St. Carthages, Lismore €30,000
  • Woodstown Viking Site €18,000
  • Stradbally Church  €39,805
  • St. Nicholas Church, Ring €61,567
  • Molana Abbey €66,656
  • Kilgobnet Graveyard €6,000

The core objective of the Community Monuments Fund is to support the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of local monuments and historic sites. It contains a number of different measures aimed at enabling conservation works to be carried out on archaeological monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support, encouraging access to archaeological monuments and improving their presentation and also building resilience in archaeological monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.

Historic Structures Fund 2022

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD,  has  announced  the  heritage projects across the country which will benefit from  this year’s Historic Structures Fund (HSF) from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage administered in conjunction with  Local Authorities.

Announcing the awards Minister Noonan said:

‘I am delighted to announce  that  this year’s Historic Structures Fund which  will assist 78 owners and custodians of historic and protected structures across the country as they carry out hundreds of conservation projects to repair and safeguard our built heritage. I am particularly pleased to announce the awards made to vernacular structures and historic shopfronts following their successful pilot schemes last year. These awards celebrate the richness and diversity of our built heritage and help to preserve our connections to past generations, in particular through their support of traditional building skills, which this Government is committed to investing in. These actions also help us to deliver on our commitments to built heritage under Heritage Ireland 2030, and  the national heritage plan”.

Waterford City and County Council are receiving funding of €339,755 for 5 projects.

Spider Light, Passage East Spit

Essential remedial works to the Spider Light steel support structure to stabilise the structure to prevent its collapse and to arrest further deterioration

€47,483

Mount Melleray Abbey

Address water ingress at west side and stair tower of public chapel and east end of the chancel. Contain a dry rot outbreak in the chapter room and hostel

€50,000

Curraghmore House, Portlaw

South roof & valleys: repair and replacement of slate & lead valleys, repair of 2 no. chimney stacks. Second floor structural works.

€50,000

Mount Congreve House, Kilmeaden

Replacement of east wing roof. Repair/renewal of lead & copper flashings, chimneys, roof timbers and provision of roof access hatch. Repair and redecoration of rooftop ventilation lantern with sundial

 

€155,272

T&H Doolan,  Great George’s Street

Significant conservation repairs to an important architectural and cultural original shopfront to that of T&H Doolan Wine Merchant

€37,000

 Rosemary Ryall, Architectural Conservation Officer,    has stated that  this year Waterford City and County Council  have received  €522,155 for built  heritage from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage  . This will assist  with 27 projects which cover maritime heritage, shopfronts, private dwellings, country houses and church buildings. Such funding will not only help the owners and the structures but will also be of economic benefit by generating employment for heritage contractors and other skilled crafts and tradespeople.

ENDS

Cappoquin Regeneration Public Meeting

Some two years back, Waterford City and County Council, working in collaboration with Waterford Leader Partnership, Cappoquin Regeneration Company, Tomar Trust and the local community, was successful in being allocated some €1.2 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).

This funding was further bolstered by match funding provided by the Council and by Tomar Trust. This was designated as Category 2 funding i.e. funding to facilitate the design, planning and preparation of regeneration projects.

The emphasis on this phase of development was very much to identify and prepare projects which would address five main issues:

·         Vacancy and dereliction in the town centre

·         Lack of recent investment in the town centre’s public domain

·         Lack of appropriate enterprise and housing opportunities

·         The potential in improving access to the River Blackwater

·         The lack of community and tourist-oriented recreational infrastructure

In the meantime, Waterford City and County Council, working closely with Cappoquin Regeneration Company has acquired a number of derelict and vacant properties, has procured architectural designs for same and has advanced them to a point of planning permission.

Likewise, there is design work on-going, again much with appropriate planning in place, to improve the physical appearance and attractiveness of the town centre, access to the river, the creation of a number of new recreational trails as well as the development of an innovative town centre housing pilot. The collaborative approach currently being taken in Cappoquin is cited in the government’s new “Town Centre First” policy which was unveiled last week.

Side by side with this are other ongoing initiatives in the town e.g. the development of Blackwater House as a new enterprise centre, a Town and Village Renewal Scheme which provided €120,000 for improvements to some 45 properties on Main Street and the work of Waterford Sports Partnership in the onward development of the West Waterford rural Sports Hub centred around Cappoquin.

Waterford City and County Council is now in a position to advance an application for the next round of RRDF funding which will take a number of projects from design through to construction and delivery.

To this effect, the Council is hosting a Public Consultation in Cappoquin Community Centre on the evening of Tuesday, 22nd February from 7.00 – 9.00 p.m. to which all the community and any interested parties are invited.

The purpose of the meeting will be to inform the attendees of progress to date, to outline the plans for further development and to get the community’s view as to the proposed projects and to discuss other potential developments which can aid in Cappoquin’s regeneration drive.

Cappoquin is a town with a great sense of heritage and past endeavour but is now time to also look forward and to ensure future vibrancy, sustainability and growth for this gorgeous town. It behoves everybody in the community to contribute to that future, to have their voices heard and to work together for the greater common good of Cappoquin and surrounding areas. 

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