Civic Trusts Seek Capital Fund in Pre-Budget Submission

Revolving Fund to Resource Built Heritage Refurbishment Projects & Support City Living

Limerick Civic Trust and Dublin Civic Trust have requested that a capital fund is allocated to the NGO and civil society sector in a pre-budget submission to the Minister for Finance.  The shared heritage building fund, set up as a ‘revolving fund’, would be used to invest in historic buildings with a focus on urban regeneration.

The joint submission sets out the core objectives of both organisations and how they are ideally placed to preserve the unique built heritage of Ireland’s past with a keen eye to the needs and demands for residential accommodation in town and city centres over the coming decades.

The document suggests that the capital fund could be sourced from existing funding streams announced under the Government’s Ireland 2040 – National Planning Framework.  The revolving endowment model would sustain itself from project to project as all monies borrowed from the fund would be invested in heritage buildings destined for resale and returned to the fund upon successful disposal.

Speaking on behalf of Limerick Civic Trust, David O’Brien said: “There has rarely been a more pressing time to secure the conservation, refurbishment and residential renewal of marginalised districts of heritage assets, such as those in the Newtown Pery area of Limerick for instance. The operating model proposed is an ideal mechanism to support the focus on urban regeneration while enhancing Ireland’s built heritage.”

“Both Dublin Civic Trust and Limerick Civic Trust have demonstrated that the rehabilitation of urban-based older buildings leads to multiple tangible and intangible benefits. With government support we can support new city centre living models while simultaneously conserving Ireland’s built heritage,” he continued.

CEO of Dublin Civic Trust, Geraldine Walsh, said: “Dublin Civic Trust has successfully demonstrated over 25 years how historic city centre buildings can be refurbished to best conservation practice while securing vibrant new uses. The Trust’s current remarkable transformation of 18 Ormond Quay Upper, an 1840s merchant premises on the river Liffey, is a model of how the unique resource value of Ireland’s period buildings can be harnessed for residential living. We need government support to ensure this work continues.”

A copy of the submission can be found here