The second round of the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund opens to applications today. Applications will be accepted for 12 weeks, with a deadline of Friday, 26 February 2016. The Chancellor made the welcome announcement in his Autumn Statement last week that the full £25 million pledged for the Fund in the 2015 Budget in March will remain in place. It is anticipated that awards will be allocated in early summer 2016.
Applications for grants between £10,000 and £100,000 will be accepted from listed places of worship across the UK, where roof and rainwater goods repairs are deemed to be urgent. Works must have been identified by a professional architect or surveyor as necessary within two years. Both unsuccessful applicants under the initial scheme and new applicants will be able to apply, provided that they meet the current criteria.
The Fund is being administered by a dedicated team appointed by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Contact details for the team and the full guidance documents are available on the website: www.lpowroof.org.uk. ChurchCare will also be providing support and guidance centrally to dioceses and to parishes interested in applying.
The Rt Hon Canon Sir Tony Baldry, Chair of the Church Buildings Council, said, “I encourage all parishes that are eligible to submit an application. The process of applying has been kept simple and, for those that are successful, the benefits of making the church building watertight are immeasurable. This is not only about securing our historic buildings against damage, but about allowing worship to continue and about enabling parishes to think about the potential for extending use of their buildings to the wider community. The anecdotes we have heard from successful applicants in the first round clearly show how the grants have energised and revitalised parishes.”
Earlier this year, nearly 400 Church of England parishes were offered grants in the first round of awards from the Roof Repair Fund. These grants came out of total funding package of £30 million, distributed between 502 listed places of worship.