Treasure Ireland is a new project from the UK National Churches Trust to support historic places of worship in Northern Ireland. It will run for three years from 2020 to 2023.
Partners include the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and the Department of Communities.
The first Treasure Ireland newsletter states: “Exciting times are planned as we come alongside churches and chapels of all denominations, providing help and encouragement in the form of grants, training and marketing initiatives.
“Northern Ireland has an amazingly rich heritage of church and chapel buildings. This includes 895 listed places of worship, with 45 churches and chapels listed as Grade A buildings of the highest heritage significance. More people should be able to appreciate this wonderful architecture and history.
“Treasure Ireland will help you put your churches and chapels firmly on the tourist map.”
The project will offer grants for repairs and advice with maintenance to help parishes keep their church building in good condition and so avoid having to carry out expensive repairs.
Treasure Ireland will also provide a comprehensive range of training and mentoring to help people look after places of worship. Training sessions will cover topics including how to write funding bids, building maintenance, heritage interpretation and tourism.
A new grants progamme will be announced soon, with funding of between £5,000 and £10,000 for church maintenance or repair work.
Treasure Ireland is also looking for committee members from a range of backgrounds, experiences and denominations. The committee meets three time a year to make final decisions on grant awards to churches.
Free online events are as follows: