Northumberland National Park is one of five English National Parks piloting a new national grant scheme to restore traditional farm buildings.
Tony Gates, Northumberland National Park chief executive and policy lead for Historic Environment for the UK’s National Parks, said: “Traditional farm buildings are an integral part of what makes Northumberland National Park the special place it is.
“They tell the story of over 200 years of farming and land management and are evidence of the living, working landscapes we cherish today. Farming practices do however change and evolve and in many cases, our traditional farm buildings may have fallen out of use.
“This scheme will help us to safeguard some of our most important traditional farm buildings and test how such a scheme might be further rolled-out in future.”
The national Historic Building Restoration Grant scheme is worth £2 million and is being delivered by Natural England and Historic England through five National Park authorities; Northumberland, Dartmoor, Lake District, Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
The aim of the scheme is to help save the iconic historic farm buildings in the English National Parks from falling out of use. Owners can apply for an 80% capital grant towards the cost of restoration. There is a comprehensive guide which sets out all works which are eligible for funding under the scheme.
The grant is also supported by an implementation plan so that applicants can work with National Park advisors on developing a management plan to deliver the restoration.
This element of the scheme is 100% funded so applicants can seek the advice they need and develop high-quality, informed applications.
Lord Gardiner, Defra Minister for National Parks, said: “The British countryside, including those historic farm buildings that dot some of our most iconic landscapes, is a truly precious natural asset. I am delighted that we are able to open this new set of grants supporting the restoration of traditional farm buildings.
“Land managers who apply for this scheme will not only be safeguarding our rural history and culture, but also regenerating traditional buildings for use today and for future generations.”
The scheme is open for applications until 31 January 2019 and, once approved, successful applicants will have two years from which to complete the works.
Sir Laurie Magnus, chairman of Historic England, said: “Historic England warmly welcomes this scheme and its endorsement of the value and importance of traditional farm buildings. Many farm buildings, in my view, are as important as churches in contributing to the beauty and the character of the English landscape.
“The partnership approach being piloted by Historic England, Natural England and upland National Parks will be of immense value in helping owners to maintain and conserve these buildings and to retain their significance for future generations.”
For further information on the scheme and to register interest, please contact the National Park Authority’s farming and rural enterprise officers at email@example.com.