Funds for Repair of Church Buildings
The best place to start is with the website Funds for Historic Buildings established and maintained by the Architectural Heritage Fund. As well as listing sources of funding the site gives advice and helpful information. There is also useful information about fund-raising (though geared to England) on the Parish Resources website and the Ecclesiastical Insurance website.
The Scottish Churches Trust is in partnership with the National Churches Trust. Projects under £100,000 can be recommended for an NCT grant by Scotland’s Churches Trust. If your project is over £100,000, you should apply directly to the National Churches Trust. The Pilgrim Trust also gives a block grant to Scotland’s Churches Trust for distribution to churches in Scotland.
Denominational Trusts and Funds exist which are able to assist the repair, restoration and improvements of church buildings, halls and clergy residences. Information may be obtained from each denomination’s website, headquarters or year book. For instance there are lists of grant-giving bodies on the websites of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Historic Environment Scotland & Heritage Lottery Fund
For repair work to listed buildings, Repair Grants for Places of Worship in Scotland between £10,000 and £250,000 are made jointly by Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further information on the HLF website or from The Heritage Lottery Fund, 28 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EN, telephone 0131 225 9450.
Other grants may be available from Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund depending on the nature of work and the cost.
Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
If your building is listed, VAT on repairs and alterations is recoverable under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. All VAT has to be paid in full and then a claim for recovery of VAT paid on repairs submitted. For further information see www.lpwscheme.org.uk, or ring 0845 013 6601, or write to Topmark (LPOW), 160 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4TB.
Memorial Grant Scheme
VAT may also be recoverd for work to repair and maintenance of public memorial structures. See www.memorialgrant.org.uk or or ring 0845 013 6601, or write to Topmark (LPOW), 160 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4TB.
Other sources of financial aid for the repair of churches
Although your church may not be a Scheduled Ancient Monument, it will probably have been included in the Statutory Lists of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest and it may be in a Conservation Area. This information, with its category (if listed) and possibly a useful brief description, may be obtained from the Planning or Development Department of your local Council. It is always desirable to ensure your local representatives are aware of your problem and kept informed. Local authorities often manage funds that could offer grants.