€1m in funding for seven Historic Towns

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan and the Chair of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons  announce €1m in funding for seven Historic Towns 

Minister Josepha Madigan, T.D. and Michael Parsons, Chair of the Heritage Council, today announced that seven historic towns are to be awarded an aggregate of €1m in capital funding under the Historic Towns Initiative 2018. 

This follows a competitive process inviting local authorities to propose projects for heritage-led regeneration in one historic town in their area.

The towns successful in this round of funding are:

• Youghal, Co. Cork 
• Portlaoise, Co. Laois 
• Kilmallock, Co. Limerick 
• Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo 
• Kells, Co. Meath 
• Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan 
• Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary 

Speaking today, Minister Madigan said:

“I would like to congratulate the seven successful towns that will benefit from the Historic Towns Initiative 2018, which is funded by my Department and operated by the Heritage Council. These towns have come through a tough competitive process where all of the applications were of a very high standard. This funding will support the seven towns in their programmes of heritage-led regeneration and help them to build on their cultural heritage to drive investment in regeneration and renewal in their town”

Mr Parsons added

“It’s wonderful to be in a position to support such a range of projects in each province. The projects, taken together, give a flavour of the variety of heritage initiatives that can be undertaken to better present the historic narrative of our heritage townscapes. The Heritage Council is very grateful for the support of Minister Madigan, and I hope that the success of this year’s round of projects will inspire others to explore the heritage potential of their towns in future years.”
 

Background notes:

What towns qualify for the Historic Towns Initiative? Historic towns include those of medieval and pre-medieval foundation, plantation towns, planned estate towns and those established around local industries. While almost all Irish towns are historic in origin, a town seeking to benefit from the HTI should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have a distinctive sense of place. Each local authority was invited to apply in respect of one historic town with an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants. Priority was given to projects that are ‘plan-led’ and likely to make a meaningful contribution to the heritage-led regeneration of the town.

What is the Historic Towns Initative?

The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2018 is a joint undertaking by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council and builds upon a pilot scheme from 2013-14. Lessons learned from the HTI pilot, which operated in three towns - Listowel, County Kerry; Westport, County Mayo and Youghal, County Cork – have been used to develop a nationwide programme for 2018. 

Funding was awarded on a competitive basis in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the guidelines at http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/historic-towns-grant-scheme. 

Applications were assessed by the HTI National Steering Group who then made recommendations to the Board of the Heritage Council for funding under the programme.  

The internationally recognised practice of heritage-led regeneration shows that heritage can be used to create a desirable place where people can live, visit and do business. Heritage-led regeneration brings economic benefits to enable our historic towns to prosper through increased visitor numbers and decreased numbers of vacant buildings and commercial premises. 

Full details of the Historic Towns Initiative 2018 are available at http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/...

What was the closing date? The HTI 2018 was open for applications from local authorities until 22 February 2018. Funding applications were submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. Successful applicants are to be contacted with full details of their award this week.    The Heritage Council held a workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2018 in its offices in Kilkenny on 25 January 2018.

The Heritage Council has today (22.01.18) launched a new Historic Towns Initiative aimed at supporting heritage-led regeneration in our historic towns.

The internationally recognised practice of heritage-led regeneration shows that heritage can be used to create a desirable place where people can live, visit and do business. Heritage-led regeneration brings economic benefits to enable our historic towns to prosper through increased visitor numbers and decreased numbers of vacant buildings and commercial premises. 

The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2018 is a joint undertaking by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council and builds upon a pilot scheme from 2013-14. Lessons learned from the HTI pilot, which operated in three towns - Listowel, County Kerry; Westport, County Mayo and Youghal, County Cork – have been used to develop a nationwide programme for 2018. 

Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today welcomed the announcement by the Heritage Council that the Historic Towns Initiative 2018 is now open for applications.    'I am delighted to see that the Historic Towns Initiative, which is funded by my Department and operated by the Heritage Council, is now open for applications. This important Initiative will support towns across the country who are engaged in heritage-led regeneration and building on their cultural heritage to drive investment in regeneration and renewal.   The Historic Towns Initiative 2018 will make €1 million available to a number of towns to assist in their regeneration'.

Historic towns include those of medieval and pre-medieval foundation, plantation towns, planned estate towns and those established around local industries. While almost all Irish towns are historic in origin, a town seeking to benefit from the HTI should possess significant cultural and heritage assets and have a distinctive sense of place. Each local authority is invited to apply in respect of one historic town with an indicative minimum population of 1,500 inhabitants. Priority will be given to projects that are ‘plan-led’ and likely to make a meaningful contribution to the heritage-led regeneration of the town.

Commenting on the Historic Towns Initiative, Chairman of the Heritage Council, Mr Michael Parsons said: ‘Programmes such as this rely on the strength of local communities and businesses in caring for their historic town. With support from local and national government we can use heritage to improve the quality of life for all in our historic towns.’

The HTI 2018 is open for applications from local authorities until Thursday, 22nd February 2018. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system. Successful applicants will be informed during week commencing 12 March 2018.    The Heritage Council will host a workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2018 in its offices in Kilkenny on Thursday 25th January 2018 

For more information about the Historic Towns Initiative 2018 visit  http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/...

ENDS

Contact: Helene O’Keeffe, Head of Communications and Education, 056-7770777 / 087-6958161 / hokeeffe@heritagecouncil.ie 

Note to Editors:

About the Heritage Council: The Heritage Council was established under the Heritage Act 1995 with responsibility to propose polices and priorities for the national heritage. It works in co-operation with a range of agencies, communities and individuals to promote education, enjoyment and understanding of our national heritage. For further information, visit: www.heritagecouncil.ie.

About the Historic Towns Initiative 2018: Administered by the Heritage Council, the HTI programme is intended to support a small number of towns in 2018. Applications will only be accepted from local authorities and funding will be allocated on a competitive basis in accordance with the assessment criteria set out in the guidelines at http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/historic-towns-grant-scheme.  Applications will be assessed by the HTI National Steering Group who will make recommendations to the Board of the Heritage Council for funding under the programme.