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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Vacant traditional farmhouses

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage is running a pilot scheme to provide grants for expert conservation advice to owners of vacant farmhouses in private ownership who are availing of and/or considering the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.

The Conservation Advice Grant Scheme for Vacant Traditional Farmhouses will provide a grant of up to €7,500 (ex VAT) to cover the cost of having a conservation expert with proven and appropriate expertise to visit the property, conduct a survey, and compile tailored conservation advice for the property owner. The report will outline the condition of the building, suggest conservation repairs and improvements which would improve the building and enhance the building’s character, energy efficiency, integrity, and amenity.

UPDATE - thank you to the Department of Housing Local Government and Heritage for clarifying the following:

The Vacant Traditional Farmhouse Conservation Advice Grant Scheme is available to owners who are applying for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant and it has the same eligibility requirement.

Regarding eligibility of buildings where they may not have been residences previously, for eg a milking parlour, it may be suitable for a Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, subject to appropriate planning permission being in place. However, the Vacant Farmhouse Conservation Advice Grant Scheme is aimed at farmhouses, not outbuildings.

If in doubt I recommend you send photos of the property to the email address on the application form and that office will let you know if your building qualifies.

This is yet another example of the impact of Greens in Government and my thanks to my colleague Minister Malcolm Noonan for his work on this.

For decades, examples of vacant or derelict cottages across the Midlands have been a sad reminder of vibrant communities no longer with us. Now is the time to find out which cottages and traditional farmhouses can be viably brought back into use as living homes with this new grant to cover the cost of the survey by a conservation expert.

More occupied houses, renovated respectfully, will enhance and conserve our local built heritage. But even more importantly, they have the potential to breath life back into our rural communities, provide more opportunities for people to live locally and to contribute to our local economies, enhance our cultural heritage and create direct and indirect employment.

This survey and report will help the owner understand the heritage value and potential of their vacant property and can be accessed alongside grants for renovation of vacant and derelict homes. As with all Government grants, I recommend careful consideration of the application process and eligibility and if in doubt get in touch with my office.


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