Celebration of Church Lane Historic Towns Initiative

There will be a celebration of the Church Lane Historic Towns Initiative on Church Lane in Letterkenny this Friday, July 22 at 5 pm.
The project involved conservation repair works to seven historic buildings along Church Lane and the initiative has served as a blueprint for similar projects in Ramelton and Ballyshannon.
Entertainment will be provided by Letterkenny Comhaltas, Elusive Theatre and Maria McCormack and food and light refreshments will be provided by Wholegreen restaurant from 4.30 pm.  The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend.
 The Church Lane Historic Towns Initiative represents the culmination of a partnership between Donegal County Council, the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Committee, local property owners, The Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage.  The project involved conservation repair works to seven historic buildings that included roof and chimney repairs, structural works, installation of cast-iron rainwater goods, reinstatement of timber sash windows and doors, and the repair of a historic shopfront.  The works were supervised by conservation architect Duncan McLaren from Dedalus Architecture and the works were undertaken by John Doherty Construction and John O’Loughlin Construction.  The works employed traditional materials that were informed by best conservation practice.  The initiative was managed by Collette Beattie and Joanne McMenamin, Conservation Office and Joseph Gallagher, Heritage Officer with Donegal County Council.  The Church Lane Historic Towns Initiative saw the investment of €200,000 by The Heritage Council, €40,000 by Donegal County Council as well as private investment by property owners on Church Lane.
 “The Historic Towns Initiative programme highlights the importance and potential of heritage-led regeneration”, said Joseph Gallagher, County Donegal Heritage Officer.
“These are challenging times for our town centres and villages and the Historic Towns Initiative programme supported by The Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage provides an opportunity to demonstrate the contribution that the conservation and reuse of our historic buildings can make to the character of our historic streetscapes and to highlight how historic preservation can help create more attractive places in which to live and work.  The Historic Towns Initiative builds on the success of the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Committee over the past eight years in its determination to regenerate the historic heart of the Cathedral Quarter centred on Church Lane.
“Indeed, the Letterkenny Cathedral Quarter Committee and Letterkenny Tidy Towns will be hosting a free conference entitled ‘Derelict in Donegal’ in Dillon’s Hotel, Main Street, Letterkenny, earlier on Friday starting at 11 am and you can book your free place on
The Historic Towns Initiative on Church Lane has been featured in national workshops organised by The Heritage Council and, in February 2020, the Church Lane Historic Towns Initiative won the President’s Highly-Commended Project Award at the Irish Planning Institute Awards.  A plaque on Church Lane commemorates that achievement and was launched on Culture Night last year.
Every local authority can submit one application to the Historic Towns Initiative each year for a historic town with an indicative population of more than 1,500 inhabitants.  The proposed works must be based on a conservation plan-led approach and demonstrate strong community engagement.  Funding of up to €250,000 is available under the scheme.  If you think that your town meets or is working towards meeting the criteria for the Historic Towns Initiative, please contact the County Donegal Heritage Office on (074) 917 2576 or by e-mail

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