Heritage Council launches new supports for Ireland’s Historic Towns

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The Heritage Council has 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 click here

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