Heritage Council launches 2019 initiative for Ireland’s Historic Towns

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The Heritage Council has today launched a new round of the Historic Towns Initiative aimed at supporting heritage-led regeneration in our historic towns €1 million will be made available to a number of towns to assist in their regeneration. 

The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI) 2019 is a joint undertaking by the Heritage Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It builds upon the HTI 2018, which funded regeneration projects in six towns - Kells, Co Meath, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, Portlaoise, Co Laois, Ballinrobe, County Mayo and Youghal, Carrick on Suir, Co Tipperary, and Youghal County Cork. Street façade conservation works were carried out in Kells and Carrick on Suir, public realm works in Youghal and Portlaoise and conservation works in Ballinrobe and Kilmallock. 

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 enabling our historic towns to prosper through increased visitor numbers and decreased numbers of vacant buildings and commercial premises.

Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today welcomed the announcement by the Heritage Council that the Historic Towns Initiative 2019 is now open for applications. 

'Earlier this week, I announced €1m in funding for the 2019 Historic Towns Initiative, which is a joint initiative of my Department and the Heritage Council. I am delighted to see that it is now open for applications. This important Initiative, which gained momentum in 2018, will support even more Irish historic towns in using their cultural heritage to drive investment and renewal.

The Historic Towns Initiative 2019 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 many 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 commitment and unity 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 2019 is open for applications from local authorities until Friday 8th February 2019. Funding applications must be submitted via the Heritage Council’s online grants system

The Heritage Council will host a workshop for local authority personnel interested in applying for the HTI 2019 in its offices in Kilkenny on Friday 11th January 2019

 For more information about the Historic Towns Initiative visit