£2m funding boost for rural communities to restore historic buildings
A new grant scheme is being piloted this year in five National Parks, offering funding for land managers to restore their historic farm buildings.
The Historic Building Restoration Grant is being piloted in Dartmoor, Lake District, Northumberland, Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks with £2 million of funding available.
The aim of the scheme is to help save the iconic historic farm buildings in the English National Parks from falling out of use. Owners of these buildings from today can apply for a grant offering 80% towards the cost of restoration. This can include replacing the roof, weatherproofing the exterior, or other restoration works so that the building can be used again for farming purposes.
The scheme is open for applications until 31 January 2019 and, once approved, agreement holders will have two years to complete the works. The grant is also supported by an implementation plan so that applicants can work with National Park advisors on developing a management plan to deliver the restoration, working with conservation consultants as necessary. This work is 100% funded so applicants can seek the advice they need to develop high quality applications and secure funding for their projects.
Dartmoor National Park has a rich cultural heritage of historic farmsteads which chart a long farming tradition and have profoundly shaped the landscape of Dartmoor as we see it today. While most of the historic farm buildings date from the 19th century, Dartmoor has one of the highest concentrations of 17th century and earlier farmstead buildings in England.
Chris Giles, Head of Conservation and Land Management from Dartmoor National Park said: “We are very pleased on Dartmoor to be one of five National Parks to pilot this scheme. It offers a great opportunity for us to help enable farmers and other landowners to restore many of the iconic farm buildings that are fundamental to the character of the National Park and to those that live and work within it. This funding will support much needed restoration that will safeguard these historic assets for future generations, whilst helping to maintain agricultural assets for upland farming businesses.”
Lord Gardiner, Defra Minister for National Parks said: “The British countryside, including those historic farm buildings that dot some of our most iconic landscapes, is a truly precious natural asset. I am delighted that we are able to open this new set of grants supporting the restoration of traditional farm buildings.
“Land managers who apply for this scheme will not only be safeguarding our rural history and culture, but also regenerating traditional buildings for use today and for future generations.”
Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman of Historic England said: “Historic England warmly welcomes this scheme and its endorsement of the value and importance of traditional farm buildings. Many farm buildings, in my view, are as important as churches in contributing to the beauty and the character of the English landscape. The partnership approach being piloted by Historic England, Natural England and upland National Parks will be of immense value in helping owners to maintain and conserve these buildings and to retain their significance for future generations.”
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