Now in it’s ninth tranche, the Traditional Farm Buildings Grant Scheme has supported hundreds of projects throughout Irish farms, where old granaries, cow byres and other traditional buildings have been restored to working condition. With a 75% grant rate at a ceiling of €30,000, the scheme has supported between 70-80 projects each year and is highly competitive to enter.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be a participant in a relevant farm scheme in order to apply. Approved participants in the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) or participants in EIP (European Innovation Partnership) Calls 1, 2 and 3, Hen Harrier and Pearl Mussel Projects and The Burren Programme who were an active participant as of 31 December 2022, or had completed the full term of the contract for the relevant EIP, or have completed a five-year contract as appropriate, are all eligible for the Traditional Farm Building Grant Scheme.

Approved participants of the Organic Farming Scheme are also eligible, with all applicants having to be the owner of the building/other related structure for which funding is sought, or are acting with the permission of the owner (in which case the owner must provide consent).

What items are eligible for grant aid?

Traditional farm buildings constructed before 1960 for a use associated with agriculture and built using traditional methods and materials of the time, such as timber, brick, stone, earth, slate or thatch and which were, or still are, used for an agricultural purpose, are eligible for grant aid. Other traditional buildings not built for an agricultural purpose where it is clearly demonstrated they are in long-established active agricultural use may also be eligible.

In general, buildings that have lost significant features, such as their roofs, or are in general poor repair, will not be eligible, although this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Heritage Council, which take responsibility for the processing of grants under the scheme. Strong evidence, eg old photographs of the intact building, will be required in these cases. Other related traditional farm structures, such as historic yard surfaces, landscape features around the farmyard – walls, farm gates and piers, millraces etc, may be eligible for grant aid.

Some of the main associated works that are grant eligible are:

  • Repair of a slate, thatch or small-scale corrugated iron roof, including its structure.
  • Re-pointing of stone walls of building in earth or lime mortar.
  • Re-plastering of stone walls in lime plaster.
  • Repair of stone and earthen walls, or parts of walls.
  • Structural repairs to prevent walls leaning over/ensure structural stability.
  • Repair or re-instatement of timber doors or windows where necessary.
  • Repair or renewal of lintels.
  • Repair of loft where it is required to ensure structural stability.
  • Repair of rainwater goods where they are pre-existing.
  • Drainage works where they are necessary to ensure structural stability.
  • Repair of other related farm structures and features, such as dry stone or lime mortared stone boundary walls around the farmyard, wrought iron farm gates and stone-paved or cobbled farmyards or trackway surfaces.
  • Ineligible items include farmhouses or dwelling houses, buildings that traditionally were used for agriculture but have now been converted for other purposes, or will be converted in the next five years, ruinous buildings and buildings built after 1960. Work that is already underway or alterations that are not pre-approved by the Heritage Council are also not eligible

    How much of a grant will I receive?

    Grant aid will be paid on all approved works, with a minimum of €4,000 and a maximum of €30,000 paid to applicants. The maximum grant percentage is set at 75%, although this is dependent on the work being carried out and will not be the rate paid for all projects.

    Grant rates are for investments minus the VAT rate, irrespective of the participant being VAT registered or not. For grants of €10,000 and over the registration number and certificate number of current Tax Clearance Certificate in the name of the applicant will be required prior to payment of the grant.

    The grant is to be used for essential works only, focusing on the structural stability of the building. As much of the original building materials (roof timbers, slates, etc) should be carefully salvaged and reused.

    How do I apply?

    Applications opened on 23 February and will close on 27 March 2024 at 5pm. Applications must be made online at Applications take between one to four hours to complete. An application form, found at the above web address, should be completed and submitted, along with relevant support documentation. It is not possible to alter the application or add in additional support documents after the closing date.