Heritage Council welcomes increased allocation in Budget 2022

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The Heritage Council has welcomed its significantly increased budget allocation in Budget 2022.

The Heritage Council has welcomed its significantly increased budget allocation of €14m, confirmed today (12.10.21) by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD.

Under its budget vote, the Heritage Council will now be in a position to increase its grants schemes. Funding for the Community Grants Scheme will increase from €1m to €1.5m; funding for the Historic Towns Initiative will increase from €1.5m to €2m and funding for the Heritage Sector Support Fund will also increase.

The increased budget allocation for 2022 will allow the Heritage Council to develop new initiatives:

- launch the 'Local Heritage Support Fund,’ aimed at supporting the work of local authority-based museum curators, archivists, archaeologists and conservation officers.

- develop 'traditional building and craft skills’ bursaries, which sets out to support the development of the traditional skills essential to protecting Ireland’s built heritage.

- support heritage NGOs, which have sustained significant losses due to COVID-19.

Speaking following confirmation of the budgetary allocation to the Heritage Council, chief executive, Virginia Teehan said: "Research carried out by the Heritage Council demonstrated that during the pandemic the significance of our local heritage and people’s sense of place became more relevant to citizens and society. As we rebuild our society, the role that heritage can play in encouraging local economies and sustainable tourism is recognised. However, for heritage to really deliver for us, we must invest in our heritage and in the heritage sector. Such investment will restore the small income sources that the communities who preserve, record, and promote heritage lost during the pandemic. It will help to keep doors open and infrastructures maintained. Today's budget allocation is a strong statement from Government that heritage matters and is an important economic driver in our recovery.

"The Heritage Council is committed to working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, as well as partners across the heritage sector, to use our resources wisely, and in a way in which both communities and the economy can be supported. We will bring added value to our allocation by helping to support the heritage sector, increasing capacity, and promoting best practice at community level."

The Chairperson designate of the Heritage Council, Dr Martina Moloney added: "The allocation to the Heritage Council is a strong endorsement of the work that we do, especially at community level. We look forward to working with Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, and Minister Darragh O'Brien, in enabling heritage to play its role in recovery and sustainability."