Heritage Lottery Fund Changes its Funding for Places of Worship in England

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has issued a statement that from September 2017 it will no longer be providing funding for places of worship through its Grants for Places of Worship programme. Instead, HLF funding will be provided through the existing Our Heritage (grants of up to £100,000) and Heritage Grants (up to £5 million) programmes.

According to HLF, the changes are as follows:

  • Introduction of a faster, single-stage application for grants up to £100,000, rather than the old two-stage process under Grants for Places of Worship.
  • Greater flexibility, allowing for a wider range of activities and capital works than under the current scheme, although projects that have a focus on much-needed repairs will still be welcomed.
  • 100% of works and activities can be funded with no requirement for partnership funding.
  • 50% of the grant will be paid up front which will help the applicant’s cash flow.

For larger schemes, more money will be available for individual places of worship. The Grants for Places of Worship awards were limited to £250,000 per application. Under Heritage Grants, applicants can apply for up to £5 million per application, and can receive help to develop their final proposals between the first and second rounds.

Places of worship have two more opportunities to submit applications to the Grants for Places of Worship scheme before it closes to new applications on 1 September 2017.

The remaining deadlines for new application are 15 May 2017 and 14 August 2017.

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