Repairing Farm Outbuildings In Clare
Farmers across County Clare are being urged to consider renovating farm outbuildings on their lands.
[ClickPress, Wed Mar 05 2008] Clare County Council’s Conservation Officer said that a newly introduced grant aid scheme ensured that a number of traditional farm buildings, which contribute to the visual landscape and are of historical and architectural value, would be maintained into the future.
The Heritage Council will operate the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme for REPS4 farmers, on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
“There is a significant gap in awareness when it comes to our agricultural heritage despite its fundamental impact on the socio-economic development of this county throughout the last number of centuries”, explained Mr. Risteard Ua Cróinín.
He continued, “It is imperative that we do not lose sight of the fact that agriculture has played a significant role in County Clare’s history. The many hundreds of outbuildings located on the county’s farms are a cogent reminder of this long association with the land. The scheme for REPS 4 farmers, therefore, presents an ideal opportunity to preserve these buildings.”
Commenting on the Clare’s many farm outbuildings, Mr. Ua Cróinín stated, “Most farm buildings constructed prior to 1940 are stone structures and feature a slate, thatch or galvanised roof. Therefore, most of the buildings being targeted by the scheme range between 60 and 400 years old.”
One of the main criteria of the scheme is whether a building improves the appearance of the landscape. The criteria also state that the quality of the proposed building works must be of a high standard. For example, slated buildings must be renovated using natural quarry slate and hydraulic lime must be used in place of cement.
“The scheme also requires that all repaired buildings must be utilised by farmers in their day-to-day work. This should be looked upon positively by farmers who will enjoy real practical benefits out of undertaking repair work on the buildings”, outlined Mr. Ua Cróinín.
He added, “Anyone wishing to apply for grant aid funding under the scheme must provide still photographs of the interior and exterior of the building in question. These photographs should focus specifically on the parts of the building in need of repair.”
75% of the proposed works are covered by the grant scheme. Grants must cost in excess of EUR5k while the maximum grant available is EUR25k. Tax Clearance Certificates are not required for any grant under EUR10K.
Mr. Cronin said that farmers are not restricted to employing qualified tradesmen to carry out repair works. He indicated that farmers themselves could carry out work provided they had a way of valuing the work, which can be done by a quantity surveyor or structural engineer.
Mr. Ua Cróinín concluded by urging REPS 4 farmers to immediately consider costing the works associated with the renovation of farm outbuildings on their lands.
The closing date for receipt of application is Monday, 31st March, 2008. For more information on the Traditional Farm Buildings Scheme contact the Grants Office, Heritage Council, Kilkenny, at 056-7770777.
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