McGuigan welcomes heritage fund to protect thatched buildings
Speaking after a meeting with the Heritage environment section of the Department for Communities Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan welcomed the announcement of a £300k grant to assist much needed repairs on some of the Norths historic buildings but insisted that the department must be cognisant of the very tight time frame for the completion of works.
Mr. McGuigan said
"There are 152 Thatched buildings listed across the North. My own constituency of North Antrim contains a number of listed buildings key to sustaining our built heritage, most of which have thatched roofs. These buildings not only provide a backdrop to our heritage but are an important part of our tourism trade and potential.
"I have been in contact with the department over recent months about this grant so I am delighted with the announcement today that the Repair aspect is now open and will contain a pot of £300k.
"The deadline to submit an application is the 10th October and I would encourage owners of listed buildings to make an application.
“However during the meeting I did raise the fact that the timing of the application process needs to be given due attention by the department.
"Successful applicants would have to ensure that any work on thatched roofs would to take place over the winter months. There is the very real problem that given the tight time constraints and weather conditions alongside the shortage of skilled thatchers some of this work would be impossible to complete.
"These are issues that I hope the department will take into account in following applications to this heritage grant."