Latest Laois News: 2021 Community Monuments Fund launched
€2 million Community Monuments Fund Launched
Malcolm Noonan, T.D, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has launched the 2021 Community Monuments Fund which will invest €2 million in the protection and promotion of archaeological heritage during 2021. The €2 million allocation is an increase of 75% on last year’s funding. The grants available under the Community Monuments Fund will help custodians and owners of archaeological monuments to safeguard them into the future for the benefit of local communities and the visiting public.
In addition, they will provide support for heritage professions and job opportunities in building conservation and other traditional skills. Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said
“Laois County Council is delighted to be working with the National Monuments Service again this year on the Community Monuments Fund. Last year essential conservation work was carried out at Killabban Church under the scheme, and Conservation Plans for medieval churches at Kilmanman and Dysart Gallen were commissioned and the graveyard at Old Lea recorded. None of this vital work would have been possible without the CMF Funding”
Applications by private owners or community groups for funding under the under the CMF must be made to Laois County Council by 12th April. Application forms and full details are on the website of Laois County Council at laois.ie/heritage.
The Community Monuments Fund was first established as part of the 2020 July Jobs Stimulus introduced in response to the Covid emergency. In 2020, some 71 heritage projects were funded to the value of €1.15 million. It is anticipated that that the 2021 programme being run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s National Monuments Service will support more than 120 projects across the country. The core aims of the Community Monuments Fund are the conservation, maintenance, protection and promotion of archaeological monuments. Funding is available for:
- conservation works to monuments which are deemed to be significant and in need of urgent support,
- works to improve access to and presentation of monuments, and
- building resilience into monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change.
Funding is available in three streams.
- Stream 1 for essential repairs and conservation works at archaeological monuments.
- Stream 2 for development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports to identify necessary conservation measures and any issues requiring future attention.
- Stream 3 for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments, including development of online interpretative material.
Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage Malcolm Noonan TD said
“We have a responsibility towards our heritage and to those who care for it. When we established the Community Monuments Fund in 2020, we did so with the objective of supporting the heritage sector and providing an effective way of assisting Local Authorities and custodians in protecting Ireland’s remarkable yet vulnerable archaeological heritage.
“With the excellent partnership between Local Authorities and our National Monuments Service, the 2020 Fund supported an extraordinary level of community engagement and public participation in heritage. It provided traditional skills opportunities and strengthened the role of heritage in communities across the country, highlighting the role of heritage in providing a strong sense of place and well-being. We are very pleased to be able to grow the fund significantly this year and hope to support over 120 projects which will provide a local economic boost with thousands of hours of employment for stone masons, conservation architects, archaeologists and others, in sustainable job opportunities in the care of our heritage.”