Grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund
2012 saw the closure of the joint funding schemes for places of worship from English Heritage and HLF which had been in place for several years. Instead, parishes may now apply for new funding schemes from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The principal grant scheme for church buildings is called Grants for Places of Worship (GPoW) and is primarily for urgent structural repairs. Parishes can apply for amounts between £10,000 and £250,000. Up to 15% of the funding can be for new facilities such as kitchen or toilet facilities to help make the church more useable for the local community. Up to 95% of the project costs can be provided by HLF grants. Funding is not available for minor repairs, stolen lead or reconstruction of lost parts of the building.
The new grant system focuses more on 'outcomes' i.e. the difference a project will make. Two specific outcomes are focused on. These are that:
(a) after funding the heritage should be in better condition, and
(b) more people, and a wider range of people, should have engaged with heritage.
There is also a requirement for the building to be open for at least 40 days a year in addition to regular services.
Those seeking funding under this scheme are encouraged to send in a project enquiry form and submit an outline of the project at the first stage. If successful, then parishes will be given up to 12 months to develop their project fully. Before Round 2 submissions are received, all necessary permissions will need to be in place.
Other alternative grants to apply for are:
- Young Roots - to help young people engage with heritage including archaeology
- Sharing Heritage - Restoration of bells, wall paintings, clocks and organs, and helping people learn about heritage by way of interpretation boards, digitising archives etc.
- Heritage Grants - church restoration, interpretation and access and finding new uses for historic churches.