New Pilot Scheme Offers Grants to Ready Vacant Farmhouses for Refurbishment

Grants of up to €7,500 available for expert conservation advice

The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage is introducing a new pilot scheme to provide grants for expert conservation advice to owners of vacant farmhouses in private ownership who are availing of and/or considering the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant.

The Conservation Advice Grant Scheme for Vacant Traditional Farmhouses will provide grants of up to €7,500 (ex VAT) to cover the cost of having a conservation expert with proven and appropriate expertise visit a property, conduct a survey, and compile tailored conservation advice for the property owner. 

This expert advice will include a report which outlines the condition of a building and suggests conservation repairs and improvements which would improve the building and enhance its character, energy efficiency, integrity, and amenity.

What Kind of Buildings Qualify?

Traditional (also known as ‘vernacular’) farmhouses are a key part of our rural landscape and shared heritage. Sometimes described as ‘cottages’, these buildings generally comprise old houses constructed using traditional techniques and locally available materials such as thatch, stone, slate, earth, wattle, and timber. Later on, corrugated iron, despite its imported, industrial origin, was also used.

The new scheme will provide access to expert assistance for vernacular farmhouse owners considering availing of the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, which provides funding under the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund for the refurbishment of vacant and derelict homes in both rural and urban areas or properties that have previously not been in residential use.  

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant provides a grant of up to €50,000 to renovate a vacant property. It can be used in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grants to help improve the energy efficiency of a home provided works are eligible.

Those interested in availing of the scheme can apply through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage website: