A NEW grant scheme aimed at preserving the traditional farm buildings of the Westmorland Dales, has been launched this week.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme is offering financial support to local landowners and farmers within the Westmorland Dales to carry out conservation work on a number of threatened traditional farm buildings.

A small number of grants are now being made available to assist with restoration work in a bid to save these important cultural assets, raise their profile and help to reveal their importance to to the heritage of the Westmorland Dales.

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer, said: “The Westmorland Dales area has many beautiful traditional farm buildings, reflecting the area’s rich farming heritage. We’re keen to conserve a few key buildings which will help to demonstrate the link between our traditional farm buildings and how the land was once managed.

She added: “We are delighted to be inviting applications from owners and tenants with buildings that are highly visible in the landscape, and that have a proposed future use (excluding residential conversions).”

These buildings are a distinctive feature of the Westmorland Dales landscape but they are also one of the most vulnerable types of historic building in the area.

With dramatic changes in farming practices over the last 50 years, many farm buildings are now redundant and have therefore been demolished, left to decay or converted to other uses.

The grant will provide 80 percent of the funding. Deadline for expression of interest applications is Friday, December 4.

For further information visit the Westmorland Dales website www.thewestmorlandadalesorg.uk