Malcolm Noonan, T.D, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, today announced the opening of calls to the 2022Community Monuments Fund. A total of €5 million has been allocated to the fund for 2021 – an increase of 20% on 2021 funding, and more than a threefold increase since 2020 when the fund was established.
The grants available under the Community Monuments Fund 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 provide support for heritage professions and job opportunities in archaeology, building conservation and traditional skills.
The Community Monuments Fund was first established as part of the 2020 July Jobs Stimulus in response to the Covid emergency. In 2020 and 2021, some 200 heritage projects were funded to the value of €5.35 million. It is anticipated that the 2022 programme being run by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s National Monuments Service will support more than 160 projects.
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,
- building resilience into monuments to enable them to withstand the effects of climate change and
- works to improve access to and presentation of, monuments.
It is available in three streams.
Stream 1 supports essential repairs and capital conservation works at archaeological monuments. Stream 2 funds the development of Conservation Management Plans/Reports which will identify necessary conservation measures and any issues requiring future attention. Stream 3 offers grants for enhancement of access infrastructure and interpretation at archaeological monuments, including development of online interpretative material.
Speaking today, Minister Noonan said:
“The Community Monuments Fund has been a resounding success since we established it in 2020. The objective has been to support the heritage sector and provide an effective way of assisting Local Authorities and custodians in protecting Ireland’s remarkable yet vulnerable archaeological heritage.
The Fund supports an extraordinary level of community engagement and public participation in heritage. It provides traditional skills opportunities and strengthens the role of heritage in communities across the country, highlighting this important role in providing a strong sense of place and well-being.
We are very pleased to be in a position to grow the fund by a very significant amount this year. We hope to support over 160 projects, which will provide a local economic boost with thousands of hours of employment for craft workers, conservation architects, surveyors and engineers, archaeologists and others, in sustainable job opportunities in the care of our heritage.”
Minister Noonan added:
“This increased investment will help to ensure that our archaeological heritage across the nation continues to enrich all of our lives.”
Commenting on today’s launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, TD, said:
"Our archaeological heritage lies at the very heart of communities across this country, an inheritance of monuments echoing a resilient past that we are all obliged to protect. We must do all we can to nurture and support communities across the land who devote their time and energy to the protection of their local heritage. With my colleague, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, TD, I was very pleased to be able to secure significant funds in Budget 2022 to facilitate the growth of our Community Monuments Fund in preserving and conserving that heritage."
Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke TD said:
“The Community Monuments Fund is an excellent partnership between Local Authorities and our National Monuments Service. Care for heritage lies at the very heart of the work of the Local Authorities around the country and we are very grateful to them for all their assistance in administering this Fund in partnership with the Department. This funding will assist them greatly in the maintenance of important archaeological monuments in their care and will support the many community heritage organisations and custodians of our heritage around the country.”
Applications for grants can be made by Local Authorities for works to archaeological monuments in public ownership, where a clear heritage focus and community or public benefit has been demonstrated, and also projects proposed by Local Authorities on foot of applications from private applicants who are the owners or custodians of monuments. In addition, eligible applications with a strong community benefit may be sent direct to the Department from State-funded organisations working in the heritage area.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 March 2022.
Details of the 2022 Fund and how to apply can be found here.