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NI's Built Heritage Boosted With £1m Investment

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A number of funds totalling £1 million have been launched to support built heritage projects across Northern Ireland.

This investment confirmed from Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is aimed at conserving heritage assets, tackling social isolation, poverty, and increasing knowledge and public awareness.

The Historic Environment Fund District Council Heritage Development Support Stream is a fund of up to £10k per council to help them carry out heritage development activity. This can be wide ranging and follows a successful pilot last year where talks, walks, heritage trails, maintenance work and signage associated with buildings and monuments were all supported.

The Village Catalyst is a partnership of Department for Communities (DfC) with Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera), The Housing Executive and the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) focused on enabling village communities to develop new uses for historic buildings at risk that tackle social isolation and rural poverty. This year £690k of support for viability, development and the delivery of projects on site is available. Individual awards for site work are capped at £200k per scheme.

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The Historic Environment Fund Roof and Window Repair Stream supports owners to carry out minimum work to keep listed buildings watertight. A maximum of £6k per roof (£12k for thatched buildings) is available from a £250k budget. The aim is to spread the available support wide and help owners tackle the impact of more extreme weather resulting from climate change. The assistance is open to all listed buildings except churches, where the Department has separately supported the National Churches Trust to operate a maintenance fund.

Communities Minister Hargey said: "I am delighted that my Department is able to facilitate this much needed support for our heritage. Our historic buildings and monuments are a key part of what makes where we live and work unique. Well conserved and in use, they add greatly to the character of our surroundings, give us a strong sense of a shared history and help to drive our economy though encouraging tourism and other direct investment. This funding aims to support the owners and communities who are working so hard to maintain our heritage and enable its full potential to be realised."

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