A chance for the community to be heard
At the time of writing (early April 2017) we understand that HLF is planning two more rounds of the GPOW scheme. The deadline for applications to the final round is expected to be in August/September 2017. After that the scheme will close.
This scheme has played an important part in ensuring that the voluntary groups, which are mainly built up from congregations, who look after these buildings have been able to do what is necessary to keep them in good repair and accessible to anyone and everyone.
There is, however, a means by which you can express your opinions about this issue and maybe try to influence the course of events. Indeed, the Government has launched a call for evidence on the roles and responsibilities of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Heritage, natural environment and other cultural organisations, as well as members of the public, are invited to submit their views over the next six weeks, however it is important to note that the Government Review Consultation Review deadline is Thursday 6 April 12pm.
The Historic Religious Buildings Alliance says on its website:
'We would encourage those with concerns to do one or both of two things: complete the questionnaire about HLF by Thursday 6 April, then write to the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and explain the situation, saying what you would have said differently if you’d known about the closure of GPOW.'
'It is important that DCMS understand how much GPOW has been valued and the huge difference it has made. You may also want to express concern about the lack of consultation.'
'You could also write a letter to HLF, and copy DCMS; or write to other influencers. Again it is important that all parties understand how much GPOW has been valued and the huge difference it has made, together with any concerns you may have about the lack of consultation.'
Please visit the links below to find out more information.