Questions raised on grants for Turner Vinery

Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely

FINE Gael councillor Sarah Kiely has questioned Limerick City and County Council in relation to grants to Tait House for the Turner Vinery project.

She also asked, at a recent Metropolitan District meeting, what stage the project is at.

Senior Executive Engineer for Regeneration, Brendan Troy, explained that the Council undertook to lead on the restoration and reinstatement of the Turner Vinery, a 19th Century brick, wrought and cast iron glasshouse, designed by renowned iron-master Richard Turner. The project, he said, involves three distinct phases.

Phase A relates to the restoration and partial construction of the masonry structure. Phase B includes historic ironwork conservation works and reconstruction of the original frame on site. Phase C, councillors were informed, is the re-glazing of repaired and reconstructed frame.

“Prior to the Council taking the lead on this project, Tait House Community Enterprise obtained €153,000 in funding in relation to the restoration of Turner Vinery. €29,413 of this funding has been spent to date on Turner Vinery rehabilitation works, however further works were paused due to insufficient level of funding available,” Mr Troy commented.

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He went onto say that during 2022, the preparation of a Condition Survey, Conservation Strategy, and specification was successfully completed under the Heritage Councils Community Heritage Grant Scheme.

“In March 2023, based on the output of the Community Heritage Grant and alongside a committed contribution from Tait House Community Enterprise of the 2017 funding provision balance, the Council were successful in obtaining a Historic Structures Fund grant allocation of €160,000 — €80,000 in 2023 and €80,000 in 2024.

“The Council have commenced the procurement process for the appointment of a Grade 1 Conservation Architect as per conditions of the Historic Structures Fund grant allocation with an expected appointment in Q2, 2023. The intention being to progress contractor appointment and Phase A in 2023 and Phase B and C in 2024.”