The National Churches Trust has published the results of its Grants Stakeholder Consultation.
Published: Thursday, September 1, 2016
The findings of the consultation highlight the ongoing demand for financial support for church buildings across the UK. They also show that the National Churches Trust is a valued and trusted contributor to the sustainability of the UK's religious buildings.
The Consultation, was based on a 12 question survey carried out in April 2016. Responses were sought from grantee churches and amongst the wider church and heritage sector.
The key objective was to get information from grantees and stakeholders on what the Trust does well, and what could be done better. Feedback was also sought on where funding should be prioritised as a match-funder for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grants, and as a provider of funding for work that the HLF does not fund.
Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust, said:
"The last few years have seen a significant increase in the level of funding being awarded in support of cathedral and church conservation projects. The government’s commitment of £55 million to the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and £40 million to the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, together with the £30 million annual Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) commitment through its Grants for Places of Worship programme, have made this a unique era for church conservation. It is believed that churches now are generally in the best condition for generations."
"So, is there an ongoing need for the £1.2-£1.5 million in grants that the National Churches Trust (NCT) awards, and if so, how can we best target these funds to help churches make the greatest impact with our support? To answer these questions, the Trust's Church Support Team undertook a grants consultation in April 2016."
Clarity on the funding issues
"The responses give us clarity on the funding issues faced by churches. As a result of the survey and feedback from our supporters, we will be making some adjustments to our grants programmes over the next few years. The goal is to make it easier for churches to develop projects and apply for grants, to provide funding for maintenance, and to continue to fund the vital repairs and facilities needed to help make churches more sustainable in the future. These buildings remain vital to local heritage and community engagement. Without the churches in the midst of communities across the UK, the country would be a poorer place, socially, culturally and architecturally."