Eligibility FAQs

The application guidance includes a flowchart on pg 3 to help you work out whether or not your project is likely to qualify for a repair grant under this programme. You should test your project against the flowchart before proceeding any further with your application.

I don’t know whether the place of worship is listed. How can I find out?

Contact either your Local Authority Planning Department, or the relevant statutory listing agency. There are also a number of resources online that might be able to help you find out whether your place of worship is listed. Repairs to unlisted buildings will not be eligible for this scheme.

I don’t know my listing grade / category, or my listed building reference number. Does it matter?

Yes, we need this information as part of our assessment process. Contact your Local Authority Planning Department, or the relevant statutory listing agency.

The last condition survey of our place of worship was undertaken more than 3 years ago and our architect/surveyor cannot update it within the time available. Can we still submit an application?

Yes, if your architect/surveyor provides a report that confirms your place of worship requires repairs to the roof or rainwater disposal systems within the next two years. Please also send in a copy of your last condition survey with your application and the covering letter.

The place of worship is currently closed due to health and safety reasons. It has not therefore held six services in the last year. Do I still qualify?

Providing your place of worship was closed in the last year, and before the closure it had been used for at least six services in the previous year, this is fine. However, your letter of support from the person with overall responsibility for your place of worship will need to state clearly that the place of worship will be re-opened for worship and will hold at least six services a year after the grant-aided work is completed.

The application guidance says only like-for-like repairs are eligible but our gutters and hoppers can no longer cope with the increase in rainfall. Can we apply for a grant to upgrade them to disperse a greater volume of water more effectively?

Yes. This scheme has been designed to help congregations adapt their buildings to cope with a changing climate, and you can apply for a grant to improve, rather than just repair, rainwater disposal systems. You will need to ensure the works you propose follow good conservation practice and are likely to be approved by the relevant ecclesiastical or statutory permissions authority.

The lead on our roof has reached the end of its useful life and we want to replace it with a different material because we are concerned about potential theft. Is this eligible?

NHMF believes lead should be retained wherever possible. When replacement is necessary it is desirable to use lead on a like-for-like basis, with appropriate security measures installed to deter theft. We will only consider replacement with an alternative material in very rare circumstances and where you can demonstrate the clear support of the relevant statutory or ecclesiastical consents body.

The church or church hall is also used for community meetings, scout groups etc. Is this eligible under the scheme?

Yes, provided the main use is for public religious worship, this is fine. You may be asked to provide proof of this.

Replacement of roof metal lost due to theft. Is this eligible?

Metal theft cases can be considered under the LPOW Roof Repair Fund, provided that the funded works can be insured for their full reinstatement value against theft, loss or damage. NHMF has this insurance requirement as standard, to ensure the highest standards of probity in the distribution of public money.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group have revised their limits for replacement of external metal after theft. For places of worship that have installed an Ecclesiastical approved roof alarm (as described in the policy schedule) from 1 August 2015 there will be no limits applicable to the policy for theft or attempted theft of external metal and the subsequent damage as a result of the theft or attempted theft. In the event of a loss claims will be paid in full up to the buildings and/or contents sums insured. No additional premium is due for this unlimited cover.

For metal theft cover to apply, churches must have applied SmartWater (or an alternative forensic marker), put up the warning signs in a prominent place and registered the product.

Ecclesiastical has increased the cover for metal theft where there is scaffolding provided a forensic marker has been applied, an Ecclesiastical approved roof alarm fitted and certain security requirements met. Further information is available here. The new limits do not apply to losses occurring prior to the 1 August 2015.