Grants for church buildings and communities
The HLF has updated its places of worship landing page to reflect the changes with the closing of GPOW to new applications this year. The landing page indicates which HLF programmes are most relevant to churches. It also has (and will soon have more) case studies of church grants as examples to others.
From September 2017 the HLF will be changing the way it funds places of worship. The final deadline for the Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) programme is 14 August 2017.
GPOW continues to receive more good quality applications than can be funded so in order to be competitive it is important that groups present a heritage focussed project. Applicant to GPOW need to describe the heritage focus of the project and how they will share this with others.
After September, places of worship and other heritage bodies will need to apply through the open grant programmes, which includes Our Heritage and Heritage Grants, for heritage activity projects and capital works including repair for the building fabric. Further information regarding the new approach taking by HLF for funding grants can be found here
The levels of competition under all HLF grant programmes is high and groups do need to consider how heritage will drive their project and how it will help benefit local people and communities. Potential applicants are advised to submit a project enquiry form via the HLF website which will enable their Development Team to offer advice on your proposals.
Funding directories provide information on a wide range of organisations that make regular grants to churches. Some give only to specific subjects or geographical areas. Do not submit blanket applications as funders have their own application forms and requirement it is essential you address.
Funding Rounds and cut-off dates
The following list offers a mix of grants announced usually with specific deadlines or other conditions. They include funding to restore and improve church buildings, facilities to enhance wider use, churchyard management and specific conservation grants. This list is regulary updated.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) which is a registered charity that promotes the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings, has launched a new mortgage-style loan facility that allows charities, not for profit companies, CICs, Parish and Town councils to borrow £150,000 - £500,000 over 10 - 20 years (up to 30 years by exception) for the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings. To be eligible the building should have statutory protection through national listing, or be in a Conservation Area. Applicants must demonstrate how financial assistance from the AHF will enable it to provide demonstrable social impacts. The AHF can normally lend up to 70% of the estimated open market resale value of any acceptable property or land over which it takes a first charge. Applications can be submitted at any time.
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) which supports the conservation and regeneration of historic buildings, has announced that the next closing date for applications to its Project Development Grant scheme (up to £25,000) is the 16th August 2017 although applications to the Project Viability grants as well as Project Development grants of up to £5,000 can be submitted at any time. Charities, not for profit companies, CICs, Parish and Town councils can apply for funding to assist with the costs of developing and co-ordinating a project which helps to find a sustainable use for an historic building and takes it towards the start of work on site. The AHF also makes Project Viability Grants (PVG) of up to £5,000 to fund studies to look at potential uses for a building and at its current condition.
A service which offers qualified and experienced contractors for clearing drains and gutters, lightning conductor tests and tree work (permission Required via Log B). Small grants available.
Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support churches of any Christian denomination to develop high quality sustainable repair and community projects. Priority during 2017 will be given to applications from the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Buildings must have been built as churches originally and 50% of the funds needed must be in place. The funding can be used to diagnose issues affecting the church; test the viability of proposed solutions to improve sustainability; and develop guiding policies and plans that will be implemented through an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, or other large church heritage funders. The next deadline for applications is the 6th September 2017.
Christian churches of any denomination that are used for public worship and situated in Yorkshire have until the 15th September 2017 to apply for funding to the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust for repairs to the church fabric; the conservation of fixtures and fittings; or repairs to bells, clocks and organs. In the last 10 years, grants to individual churches have ranged in size from £250 up to £112,492. In order to be eligible for funding applicants must demonstrate a focus of mission and care for their building and that have had their scheme prepared by a qualified architect/surveyor. Preferred projects will be able to demonstrate active fundraising for the project and show that there is a genuine shortfall in funding.
Grants of up to £10,000 are available to help churches of any Christian denomination develop high quality sustainable repair and community projects. Priority in this round will be given to applications from the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Buildings must have been built as churches originally and 50% of the funds needed must be in place. The funding can be used to diagnose issues affecting the church; test the viability of proposed solutions to improve sustainability; and develop guiding policies and plans that will be implemented through an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, or other large church heritage funders. The next deadline for applications is the 6th September 2017.
The National Churches Trust, which supports the repair and revitalisation of church buildings for the benefit of all the community, has announced the launch of its new Maintenance Grant Scheme. This is a pilot programme, in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust, offering awards of between £1,000 and £2,500 to encourage churches to act on small, urgent maintenance issues and repairs to listed church buildings, as identified in a recent Quinquennial Inspection Report, condition survey or report by a gutter management contractor, and costed at between £2,000 and £10,000. Proposed works must be to the main listed church building, and applicants must be able to show they have already raised 50% of the total repair costs, and to have obtained two quotes for the works. There will be three funding rounds in 2017.
The National Churches Trust has announced that its Repair Grants Programme is now open for applications. The programme offers grants of between £5,000 and £40,000 to places of worship of any denomination and age towards the cost of urgent and essential structural repair projects which have an estimated cost of at least £100,000. Applications will be considered from both listed and unlisted Christian places of worship across the UK and the trust is particularly interested in applications from North East England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches. Applicants will need to have already raised 50% of the total project cost and projects must be led by a qualified professional who must have conservation accreditation if repairs are for a listed building.
The National Churches Trust has announced that its 2017 Community Grants programme is open for applications. The Community Grants Programme provides grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 for projects which introduce facilities to enable increased community use of places of worship. Projects must have an estimated cost of at least £25,000 (including VAT and fees) to qualify. To be eligible the applicant will need to have raised 50% of the total project cost. For example, St Michael's church in the centre of West Bromwich received a grant of £10,000 towards the cost of a new kitchen extension, the provision of accessible toilet facilities, storage provision, general refurbishment and re-modelling of the lobby and entrance, in order to make it more accessible and usable for the local community.
The next closing date for applications to the William and Jane Morris Fund is the 31st August 2017. The fund accepts applications from churches, chapels and other places of worship built before 1896. The Fund offers grants of between £500 - £3,000 towards work concerned with the conservation of decorative features such as stained glass windows; sculpture; furniture; internal monuments and tombs; and wall paintings; etc. The decorative feature, monument, etc must be dated before 1896 (the date of William Morris's death). Applications for features dated after 1896, even if they are in churches dated before 1896, are not eligible.
The Veolia Environmental Trust, has announced that the next closing date for stage 1 applications is the 31st August 2017. Constituted, not-for-profit groups within the vicinity of a qualifying Veolia site, can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 towards community buildings; parks and paths, play and recreational facilities; nature reserves and biodiversity projects. To qualify for funding, projects must have a total cost of under £250,000 (including VAT and professional costs). There is a two-stage application process and applicants successful at stage 1 must have secured 20% of funding towards the project prior to submitting a full (stage 2) application.
The Church of England of England has announced that the next deadline for applications to its ChurchCare - Grants for Fabric Repairs is the 14th August 2017. ChurchCare supports all those in parishes, dioceses and cathedrals caring for their buildings. The Fabric Repairs programme helps Parochial Church Councils with the eligible costs of essential fabric repairs in architecturally or historically significant Anglican churches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Applications are considered on the grounds of the historic and architectural significance of the building and also on a parish's engagement with the history and interpretation of the site/building. Works eligible for funding tend to be Category A or B recommendations in a quinquennial inspection report and include things such as roof repairs; masonry repairs; rainwater disposal; and drainage.
The War Memorials Trust is providing grants for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England. These grants are intended to help those who are responsible for the upkeep of war memorials. The grants support the care and preservation of war memorials to a high standard, and to prevent the decay of this important part of our built heritage. Grants will normally be for up to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of £30,000.
Grants of over £100,000 are available to support a wide variety of larger heritage projects. The funding which is being made available through the Heritage Lottery Fund's Heritage Grant Scheme is available to not-for-profit organisations; and partnerships led by not-for-profit organisations for any project relating to national, regional and local heritage. This can include for example archaeological sites; collections of objects, books or documents in museums, libraries or archives; cultural traditions such as stories, festivals, crafts, music, dance and costumes; historic buildings; histories of people and communities; and histories of places and events; etc. Heritage Grants applications go through a two-round process. This is so that organisations can apply at an early stage of planning their project and get an idea of whether they have a good chance of getting a grant before they send a proposal in greater detail.
UK registered charities and recognised churches which are raising money for capital projects (building work, refurbishment or the purchase of long-term equipment) or a one-off short term activity (such as an annual respite break or holiday for disadvantaged young people) can apply for funding through the Rank Foundation - Small Appeals programme. To be eligible to apply the total project cost must be less than £1 million, the organisation must have an annual income of less than £500,000 and the organisation applying must already have raised a third of the total costs. Applications can be submitted at any time.
The Community Fund makes grants of between £2,000 and £50,000 for projects that protect the environment and / or the provision, maintenance or improvement of a public park; or another public amenity. This could include: Improvements to a village hall or community centre; the provision of children's play equipment in public open space; construction of footpaths and cycle-ways in a public park; and providing all-weather play surface for MUGA (multi use games area); etc. Applications are accepted for projects within 10 miles of a FCC Environment landfill site in WREN's operating area. The fund is open to applications from not for profit organisations and Local Authorities. Information on WREN's Operating area can be found here.
Click on the links below to see further information, forms and closing dates for CBC grants in the following areas:
Need advice on how to raise funds?
The Giving to Heritage initiative offers advice and mentoring in a variety of formats to those seeking to raise funds for heritage based projects.
Workshops advice on subjects including creating a case to support, crowd funding, using social media and planning your strategy.
Project Development Grants offered by the National Churches Trust fund feasibility studies to help develop high quality sustainable repair and community projects.
Major grants that cover the bulk of your project costs are hard to secure and you will usually need to source funds from a variety of grant givers. Most major donors will look to see evidence of local commitment and support which can be demonstrated by arranging your own fundraising schemes. Whilst the sums generated may be modest, they demonstrate local support and are excellent ways of raising the profile of your project, having fun and winning support.