We have received
a Quinquennial Report on our church, and extensive repair work
needs to be done. I understand that we can apply to the Heritage
Lottery Fund for a grant towards our repair work, but how much
preparation should we do before applying? We do not want to spend
too much money if we then do not get a grant.
AN INCREDIBLY helpful
aspect of the Heritage Lottery Fund's grant scheme for churches is
that, in its two-stage structure, the detailed and expensive
preparation work is paid for as a stage of the grant. But you will
need to have outlined a par- ticular repair-project (costing in the
region of £250,000, including fees), and have a reasonably accurate
assessment of the budget for the works.
With the architect who
prepared your Quinquennial Report, outline a single repair project
(that is, not pieces all over the building), such as the roof and
rainwater goods, the tower or spire, or dilapidated stonework.
Other, less urgent pieces of work may be the subject of future
Arrange for the architect
and an independent quantity surveyor (not a member of the
architect's practice) to meet you on site for an hour or so, in
order that the outline of the suitable package of works can be
explained. The quantity surveyor can go away and spend a few hours
preparing an indicative budget for the works. The architect can
give you a paragraph or two to describe these works.
The architect and
quantity surveyor are each to be paid an hourly rate for their
time, and a few hundred pounds will have you ready to make your
Filling in the form is a
serious piece of work, but I assume that a volunteer from among the
members of the congregation will do this, using readily available
Once your form is
received by the Heritage Lottery Fund, it will arrange for a site
visit from an architect from English Heritage to determine that it
agrees with the scope of works, the indicative budget, and the
urgency of need. This architect's report goes to the grants
committee that will determine your grant, which can be as high as
95 per cent of the cost of the project.
Once a grant offer is
made, you will arrange to receive a first-stage grant, which, over
one year, will finance all the architect's and other professionals'
detailed design, and help you prepare for faculty and go out to
tender. This fairly expensive work, all preparatory to the
substantial repairs, is therefore mostly covered by the first-stage
grant. All this material is then submitted to the Heritage Lottery
Fund for approval, before the release of money for paying the
There is still a question
for which I am currently trying to find an answer. In some regions
in the past, English Heritage officers required each church to
appoint architects competitively on each new piece of work. In
other regions, it was enough that the architect had been appointed
competitively at some point in the past, and knew the building
well. I do not yet know how the Heritage Lottery Fund is handling
this important detail.
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