Heritage Council funds 1624 working days through the Community Heritage Grant Scheme

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€538,968 was awarded to Sixty-eight projects under the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Scheme 2020, supporting 1624 ‘working days’ in the sector.

Sixty-eight projects have shared in funding of €538,968 awarded under the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Scheme 2020

The funding supported 1624 ‘working days’ in the sector.

It also provided support for the equivalent of 527 ‘employment days’ through volunteering.

Part of the Government’s COVID-19 July Jobs Stimulus, it provided backing for a range of projects, including improved access to heritage sites.

Money was also allocated to the management and maintenance of heritage collections, objects and buildings.

The funding was awarded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

In all, the Heritage Council received 313 applications, seeking funding in excess of €2.7m. Projects had to be completed before 23rd November 2020.

“We were delighted with the quality of the applications and some fantastic projects have been funded,” said Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council.

“However, as the level of funding sought greatly outweighed the finance available, some very difficult decisions had to be made. While we’re very much aware that COVID-19 has had a hugely adverse impact on the heritage sector, the volume of applications to this scheme shows just how great that impact has been.

“Heritage is very important for Ireland – both for our personal wellbeing and for the economy - but for heritage to deliver for us, we must invest in it. We were very pleased that the Government acknowledged this in Budget 2021, and the Heritage Council has additional budget available to invest in heritage next year.

“We will be announcing details in the spring of our 'Heritage at the Heart: Community Grants Scheme', as well as an inclusive heritage programme, the first phase of which will work with the Traveller community to record and promote their heritage.”

As part of Community Heritage Grant Scheme, the Council was particularly interested in applications that focus on improved access to, and participation in, heritage activities by people with disabilities.

Other projects address the heritage of minority groups, new communities and the Traveller community.

The Government allocation in 2021 supports a new Community Grant Scheme (€1million) which will be open for submissions in the new year.

Funded projects include:

CMC Cassette Digitisation Project
The Contemporary Music Centre was awarded funding of €9,000 to digitise 391 cassettes from the organisation’s audio collection that were starting to show signs of degradation. The cassettes date from the mid-1990s to the early-2000 and hold recordings of works by contemporary composers that are not available to the public anywhere else. The funding supported 64 days’ employment.
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Traveller History Animated video
The Cork Traveller Women’s Network (CTWN) was awarded €3,600 to develop an animation to raise awareness of the heritage and history of Irish Travellers. The video content was based on research carried out in 2019 to create a Traveller history leaflet and a team of three Traveller women worked virtually with animator Hazel Hurley and Cork City Heritage Officer Niamh Twomey to complete the project. The funding supported 10 days’ employment.
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Conservation of Collection, Kells Printing Works
Kells Printing Works in Co Meath was awarded €7,500 for conservation work on 32 posters and the wooden furniture and woodblock used in the printing process. The posters date from the 1920s to the 1980s and include some of the State’s earliest election posters - the work was done by hand, by master printers. The restoration work is the catalyst to develop Ireland’s first typographic centre celebrating lettering as an art form, capitalising on Kells’ unique history of lettering. Paper conservation specialist Susan Corr also provided a video on the conservation process. The funding supported 46 days’ employment.
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Knockboy Church, Co Waterford
Knockboy Church Conservation Group was awarded €12,000 to continue with its work to conserve and stabilise the church ruin at Knockboy (also known as Seskin Church). A Medieval parish church, it is significant because it contains a number of important Ogham stones. The funding supported 90 days’ employment.
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Digitisation and Conservation of Historic Institute for the Deaf Minute Books 1845-1953 and related documents
The Deaf Heritage Centre was awarded €7,788 for the digitisation of 20 volumes (approximately 18,050 pages) and 272 rare glass plate negatives. The books provide a history of all primary and secondary deaf school children in the two Cabra schools for the deaf from the 1840s to the 1950s. The DHC now has this first source information in a searchable database which is available for research, investigation, and evaluation. The project supported 27 days’ work.

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Browse these projects and more here

Contact: Mark O’Regan, Heritage Council, Tel: 085-8590378 / Joanne Ahern, DHR Communications, Tel: 087-9881837.