Bantry House is among the projects to receive funding.

THE Heritage Council of Ireland has approved funding for a number of West Cork projects in Bantry, Kinsale and Allihies under their 2012 Grant Scheme.

In Kinsale, the Council have approved funding for the preparation of a conservation plan for the restoration of the Napoleonic signal tower as a visitor centre and a panoramic viewing point.

A longer-term plan is to include a Heritage Centre within the curtilage of the tower and the construction of a Lusitania Memorial Garden and Exhibition Centre.

In Bantry, an application to fund the structural renewal of West Stables at Bantry House & Gardens was also successful.

The West Stables is a structure in ruinous condition within the Bantry House Estate. While grants were provided in 2012 and some works were completed, the building itself remains closed.

This funding announcement will allow the north sidewalls and arch entrances to be secured so that the structure may be opened to the public.

It will also enable the courtyard to become a usable space for community events.

An application to fund a survey of mining and industrial heritage in Allihies as also approved by the Council.

This will assist in phase one of a three-phase project by Allihies Copper Mine Museum.

Welcoming the news, Labour TD for Cork South West Michael McCarthy said, “These projects offer real and significant sustainable economic benefits to the Irish economy through job creation and the promotion of local tourism.

“The Heritage Council’s grant scheme plays a vital role in making the most of our local heritage assets through conserving, maintaining and enhancing heritage buildings, collections, habitats and sites.

“The inclusion of these three projects in West Cork in this year’s grant scheme is a shot in the arm for the local heritage sector and will help to promote the quality of heritage tourism in the area.”