Heritage structures

The Trust has a long track record of funding protection, repair and restoration of heritage structures. Many of the buildings which have received grants in the past have been Anglican churches. The Trust will continue to consider grants for churches, but would also like to encourage more applications for secular buildings and structures and those belonging to other faiths and denominations.

The definition of a heritage structure, is a building or other civil engineering structure that is at least 75 years old and has demonstrable architectural and/or historical significance. Usually, eligible structures will be scheduled as an ancient monument or listed. The Trust may consider funding other heritage structures, if the applicant can demonstrate that the structure is of local significance and there is particular merit in preserving the fabric.

Applicants must own the building or estate or hold a fully repairing lease with not less than 20 years to run or be able to demonstrate that there is a legally binding agreement in place to acquire such a building or estate.

It is prudent to get advice at the outset from your local authority conservation officer. Their input will help you to plan your project and will help the Trust to assess it. If you are invited to submit a Full Grant Application, you will need to provide a professional advisor’s or specialist contractor’s report in support of your application as well as colour digital photographs that can show the extent and urgency of your project.

The proposed work must be essential to preservation of the historic fabric of the building or structure, and relate to a feature of historic importance. The Trust will not fund general maintenance, modernisation, or improvement projects. You will need to research details of dates of construction, architects, masons, engineers and so on to assist the Trust in considering the merits of an application. In particular, projects are sought which can demonstrate a connection with the history of the Trust itself, such as the Lady Scott Memorial Restoration at Nettlestead Church.

Grants may be made for paintings and wall paintings; churchyard structures; monuments, tombs, hatchments and wall memorials (including brasses); clocks; light fittings; metalwork; doors; specific fabric and roof repairs; timberwork; stained glass, tracery and ferrimenta of windows; garden structures and outbuildings of historic merit.

Grants are not made for conservation reports; bells and organs; books, manuscripts & textiles (although applications would be considered under the history priority); church plate; routine minor maintenance and repair work that the charity or church community could be expected to deal with itself; redecoration; re-ordering or the introduction of domestic facilities within the church; replacement or installation of heating systems for the comfort of the congregation.

The Trust may fund the repair and restoration of war memorials which are judged to be of outstanding architectural or historic interest.

When considering whether to fund a particular project, the Trust is primarily concerned with preserving the structure or feature as an important historical artefact. Although the use to be made of a building or structure will be considered, this will be given less weight and you should tailor your application accordingly. The exception is when a heritage building is to be used as part of a museum or similar facility which will also contribute to one of the other grant priorities (for examples, see the Bridge Study Centre and Ditton Heritage Centre). Applications of this type would be particularly welcome.

Specific grant conditions which may be applied to Heritage Structures Grants include:

  • that a professional advisor is appointed to supervise the work;
  • that plans are in place for maintenance of the structure in future; and
  • that appropriate insurance must be in place and maintained for 10 years from the date the grant is accepted.

Normally it is a condition of a grant that the owner or occupier of a grant-aided property should allow members of the public to see the property on at least 10 days per annum during the ten years after the first grant payment. In the case of privately owned houses or other privately owned properties, this condition may be satisfied by the property being open to the public for the annual Heritage Open Days weekend. If a site and the feature which has been the subject of funding can be viewed from a public place, then it is not usually necessary for there to be a right of access to the property itself.