Churches can apply for grants up to £10,000 from ‘Treasure Ireland’ – a new project to support historic places of worship in Northern Ireland led by the National Churches Trust.
The project, which will run over three years starting in the summer of 2020, includes a new grants fund which will offer between £500 – £10,000 for repairs and maintenance to help keep churches in good condition and so prevent expensive repairs.
‘Treasure Ireland’ will also offer training and mentoring to help people who look after places of worship. This will include developing skills on writing funding bids, maintenance and interpretation and tourism.
The project also aims to increase the number of people visiting churches in Northern Ireland for days out or as part of a holiday. At least 100 churches will be added to the National Churches Trust’s Explore Churches website (www.explorechurches.org), providing visitors with a one stop digital gateway into discovering the architecture and history of Northern Ireland’s religious heritage.
‘Treasure Ireland’ is funded jointly by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, the Department of Communities and the National Churches Trust.
Michael Murray, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “The National Churches Trust is the UK’s church support charity. It is great news that the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Pilgrim Trust have given their backing and financial support to ‘Treasure Ireland.’
“This project aims to change the dynamic of church heritage in Northern Ireland so that more churches and chapels can be kept in good condition and their architecture and history appreciated by more people. A big thank you to all our partners in Northern Ireland who have taken part in meetings of the NI Places of Worship Forum and who have helped to make ‘Treasure Ireland’ possible.”
For more details visit www.nationalchurchestrust.org.