Earlier this year, Sara Crofts, HLF Head of Historic Environment announced that the current ‘Grants for Places of Worship’ system is due to be replaced by two new grant programmes, ‘Our Heritage’ and ‘Heritage Grants’, offering greater flexibility for applicants. From August 2017, the new approach is expected to be simpler and more accessible, helping congregations and volunteers to improve the long term sustainability of their place of worship. To ensure the long-term sustainability of places of worship there is a need to introduce income generating opportunities that respect the special qualities of places of worship. It is interesting to note that VisitEngland reported visits to churches declined during the 2015 season following positive growth in 2013.
The new programmes ‘Our Heritage’ and ‘Heritage Grants will encourage the introduction of new facilities and activities to increase usage and generate more income at places of worship. Also, as grants will no longer be restricted to listed buildings, HLF hope that a broader range of places of worship will apply. The Heritage Lottery Fund will continue to support repairs to the fabric of buildings and have committed a minimum of £20m this year to this area.
‘Our Heritage’ grants
- £10k – £100k
- Can be made at any time
- Single stage application process
- Assessed within 8 weeks
- 50% paid upfront
- Cash contribution not required
- Up to £5m
- Two-stage application process
- Funding available to undertake works required for the development please of the project
Improved Heritage Lottery Fund resources will feature case studies, links to existing successful projects and detailed help notes. Funded mentors for ‘Our Heritage’ grants will also be available, as well as training sessions and workshops.
The full article can be found here.
PSC has worked on several projects involving places of worship including St Albans Cathedral where we provided business planning advice to support a Heritage Lottery Fund application and in North Soar, a rural area to the south of Nottingham, were we developed a tourism action plan to take forward initiative linked with the cultural heritage, including places of worship and the activity product.
Considering applying? Contact Richard at PSC for help generating ideas or assessing options or preparing the business plan. Tel: 023 9248 1999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org