The Mourne Homesteads Scheme was set up in 2000 as a response to the number of traditional rural dwellings [link to Rural Housing] that were being lost in the Mourne area. Set up by the Mourne Heritage Trust in 2000, the Homesteads Scheme involved the renovation of a number of run down or derelict buildings. It also established a course to teach traditional building skills.
Martin Carey of the Mourne Heritage Trust tells us about how and why the scheme came about, the benefits it brings to the community and the possibility of replicating the scheme in other areas. We also hear from two residents who are living in traditional houses, to find out just what the Mourne Homestead Scheme has meant to them.
The Mourne Homestead Scheme has breathed new life back into many of the traditional rural dwellings in the Mourne region. Whilst it was previously more cost-effective to demolish and rebuild these houses, the scheme has offered a sustainable alternative to demolition. By restoring these traditional buildings, the Mourne Homestead Scheme is providing dwellings which are both comfortable and sustainable. Not only that, but the scheme is also playing a major part in keeping our rural communities alive.