The recent extension of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme by the Government to March 2022 has come as a great relief to churches and chapels that are undergoing or preparing building projects.
The Scheme has been of great help in keeping church heritage in good repair. It pays grants to cover the VAT incurred on urgent structural work and new roofs and reduces the burden on congregations to raise funds.
Without it a church would have to add 20% onto the cost of a repair project, a substantial increase in costs.
The scheme has paid out over £300m since its inception and assisted over 13,000 buildings.
National Churches Trust had included the extension of the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme as one of the measures in their Church Buildings Manifesto, published in 2019 and they are hopeful that when it is next reviewed, a longer term extension can be guaranteed so as to provide certainty for churches.