Historical buildings at risk, says civic trust

 

The future of Dublin’s north Georgian core is at serious risk due to the abolition of grants for the maintenance of historical buildings, the Dublin Civic Trust has said.

National conservation grants funded up to 50 per cent of the cost of repairs and conservation measures for buildings on the Record of Protected Structures.

Owners of buildings listed on the record could apply for funding of up to €25,000 towards the costs of work to restore and repair buildings using traditional materials and proper conservation practices.

In 2010 €3.74 million was provided for the scheme. However, the grants were replaced in 2011 by the Structures at Risk Fund, which had a total national allocation of €650,000.

This year that fund has been cut to €500,000 and the allocation for Dublin has more than halved.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said it was not yet determined whether the scheme would operate in 2013.

Unlike the grant scheme, where applications were made by owners of historical homes from all over the State, each local authority can only submit two applications for funding to the department.

This means that Dublin City Council, which has a list of almost 9,000 protected structures, can only submit the same number of applications as Mayo County Council, which has just over 200 protected structures.

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