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Applying to trusts

09 October 2015

My local church has to undertake a significant project to repair its roof, at a cost of £40,000. I have been asked to investigate possible sources of grants. I am inclined to make a number of applications to different trusts simultaneously, and I wondered whether you could see any difficulty with this. If one of our applications was to be successful, my intention would be immediately to inform the trustees of other funds to whom we had applied.


FROM your letter, I cannot tell whether your church is a listed building. If it is, add the Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship to your list, as they are interested in helping with structural repairs. On their website, you are encouraged to fill in an initial enquiry form that will result in your discovering whether to take the application further.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the only source that I know at present that might help you with most of the money in one grant, and that leads into your question about trusts.

Most of the trusts that you will find in your research include an “average” grant figure, and it is fair to say that this falls far below your target. So, if trusts are to help you, their contribution will be a series of smaller sums of up to a few thousand pounds each.

You are right: if you waited to ask each one in turn, it would take a very long time to work through them. Generally, I give trusts a good description of my project, and tell them how the project fits their grants criteria. Then I tell them the total cost, and ask for a contribution towards that total. This facilitates asking them all at the same time, and cuts out the delay.

Do remember to include the VAT in your total costs, as this is applied to both the builder’s work and the fees of your architect and team. You can indicate that you expect the VAT to be covered by a grant from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme during the course of the works.


Send your issues and questions to maggiedurran@virginmedia.com 

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