Conservation Plan: Next Step – The House

Now that the Garden Re-creation is complete, and has been formally opened by the President of Ireland, the next step is the re-presentation of the House in accordance with the Conservation Plan. The first  stage of this entails conservation work on the fabric of the House to enable the interpretive plan for the property to be implemented. This will include replacement of staircase, dampness protection in basement, work on windows and doors, plasterwork and ceiling repairs,  chimney and roof work, improvement of guttering and drainage, and lift installation. A lot of this work is necessitated by obligations in relation to (a) access for all, and (b) Health & Safety requirements.

Announcement of Grant:  We were very pleased recently to be notified by the Dept. of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government that our project here has been included by the Minister in the list of Heritage Properties to benefit from Government grants this year, in our case €200,000, which will allow us to put these works in hand. The full cost estimate is €406,500, so we have a big gap to bridge! 

Re-location within the House: The Plan entails much re-arrangement of activities, to enable us to show off the House to its best for visitors. The Library and the Fás project will move to the Third House, which is now available as the Heritage Council has moved to its new location in Church Lane. We will try to have all the major changes carried out during the slack period for visitors, as much of the House will have to be closed for a time. So, the aim is to have the transfers to the Third House carried out this coming winter, and the re-presentation completed in the winter of 2009-10.

Funding:  We continue to rely heavily on public funding for the cost of the Plan – approx. €3m – but all grant systems operate on a percentage basis, which means we need to be able to source considerable sponsorship from private sources. For this we rely on our own KAS members, our stakeholders in the Trust, and private and corporate donations. So far this has gone well. but now needs to be stepped up as we enter the period of our heaviest investment. Watch this space! 

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