New IGS grants scheme launched


For the first time since 2008, the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) will launch a new conservation grants scheme, offering financial support to owners of properties of “significant architectural merit”, to renovate them.

Total funding of up to €50,000 will be offered annually, and the scheme will operate over the next three to five years. The scheme is being launched with the support of the society’s London chapter, and according to Donough Cahill, executive director of the IGS, the goal of the scheme is to support one larger project each year that is considered to be “of particular importance” and which would especially benefit from the society’s support.

However, smaller grants will also be made available for projects such as the repair of windows, fanlights, doorcases, ironwork and decorative plasterwork, and for essential conservation advice. Homes in private use will be eligible for the scheme, as will buildings in public use.

Protected structures
With a set amount of funds to disburse, the society typically has a preference for protected structures and recorded monuments, but it will consider unprotected structures where it can be shown that it is “of architectural and historical interest”.

While structures of all periods are eligible – ie not just Georgian – the society says that priority will also be given to older buildings on the basis of rarity and potential fragility relating to age. Similarly, the society will give priority to structures of national and international importance over buildings of regional importance.

The society will shortly make a call for expressions of interest, and those interested in applying for a grant will be initially invited to send in general details of the project.

The IGS grants scheme comes at a time when other sources of funding have also become available for those looking to conserve and restore period properties, including the Government-funded Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme and the Living Cities initiative.