The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, TD, along with the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, and the Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Sport and An Ghaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD, today, 27 November 2020, announced joint funding of up to €100,000 to support the conservation of traditional Irish-language shopfronts.
This follows Minister Noonan’s announcement on 18 November of €6m for built heritage in 2021, to be invested through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s two built heritage schemes, the Historic Structures Fund and the Built Heritage Investment Scheme.
Today’s funding will be made available under the historic shopfronts stream of the Historic Structures Fund (HSF). Eligible works include refurbishment and conservation works to historic shop facades, windows and signage. To qualify, structures must be included, or eligible for inclusion, in the Record of Protected Structures of the relevant local authority.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Minister Noonan said: ‘the conservation of our historic shopfronts is a cause very close to my own heart. Traditional shopfronts are a rich part of our built environment and help to connect us to past generations. I am delighted that Minister Martin’s Department will join with my Department to work towards the conservation of Irish language traditional shopfronts, which will help to preserve both our built and linguistic heritage not just in Gaeltacht areas but right across the country’.
Minister Martin said: ‘My Department is always on the lookout for ways to increase the visibility of the Irish language and what better way to do that than by supporting the restoration of historic shop fronts in the Irish language to their former glory. This is a wonderful initiative and we’re very much looking forward to working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on it’.
Minister of State for Sport and An Ghaeltacht, Jack Chambers added: ‘We are delighted to be co-funding a stream of the Historic Structures Fund (HSF) specific to traditional shop fronts in the Irish language this year. My Department and our state agencies offer a wide-range of supports to the business community regarding the Irish language and this will only further enhance those efforts. I very much look forward to seeing the results of projects funded under this stream’.
Today’s launch took place at the traditional Oifig an Phoist, Usher’s Quay, Dublin 8 the location itself an example of what this fund is seeking to protect and preserve. The building dates from c. 1720 and is the last Georgian house remaining on Usher’s Quay. The shopfront dates from the early 1840s, and it became a post office in 1904-5.
Owners of eligible businesses and buildings can find out more about the Historic Structures Fund 2021 at www.housing.gov.ie and on the website of their local authority. Applications are open until 29 January 2021.
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