Monday, 15 August 2016

National Churches Trust Project Viability and Project Development Grants

The aim of the National Churches Trust Project Viability and Project Development Grants scheme is to support churches to become more sustainable through:
o The diagnosis of issues affecting a church;
o Testing the viability of proposed solutions to improve financial sustainability; and
o The development of essential policies and plans that will be implemented through a subsequent capital or sustainability project.
The following grants are available:
Development Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 to help churches prepare documents often required by large grant giving bodies and to meet RIBA (royal Institute of British Architects) stage 1; for example, business plans, activities plans, or condition reports;
Viability Grants of up to £3,000 to help diagnose problems, to assess opportunities, need and sustainable use.
PLEASE NOTE: 50% of the project funding must be raised by applicants from their own reserves or via other funders.
Eligible costs include:
o Staff time for a Project Manager to develop the proposal to the equivalent of a Heritage Lottery Fund Round 1 submission. The grant usually covers the employment of a single person. However, it is also acceptable for tasks to be broken up between appropriately qualified people;
o Paying professional advisers;
o The cost of specific items such as architectural plans to the equivalent of RIBA Stage 1, condition surveys,  governance advice and training, business planning, conservation statements, or public engagement or activities advice.
Eligible projects must be in the planning stages (ie not yet started) for an urgent structural repair and/or introducing new facilities to widen use of the building.
Applications from the following will not be considered:
o Churches that are no longer used for worship;
o Privately owned churches;
o Cathedrals;
o New build churches; or
o Works to church halls.
Applications are accepted from places of worship of any Christian denomination that is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), across the UK.
Applicants must have a legal responsibility for the care of their church and will need to own the building, or hold a full repairing lease.
Applications will be considered for buildings of all ages, listed and unlisted, although buildings must have been built as churches originally.
Although currently the Trust is particularly interested in applications from the North East of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from Baptist and Presbyterian churches, applications will be considered from any part of the UK.
The deadline for applications is Monday 12 September 2016.
The 2017 application deadlines are scheduled as (but please check the website as these may be subject to change):
o Tuesday 29 November 2016;
o Monday 27 February 2017, and
o Saturday 3 July 2017.
Applicants must initially submit an online eligibility test at the National Churches Trust website.
Eligible applicants will then continue to an online application form. Once a completed application is received, the Trust will conduct a first review of the information within six weeks to confirm eligibility and to identify what further information is required.
Applications will then be considered against assessment criteria and priorities identified for the year by the Grants Committee and Trustees.
For further information, visit the National Churches Trust website.  The website also contains a useful page on project fundraising, including further links.
Contact details for the Trust are:
Catherine Townsend
Grants Manager
The National Churches Trust
7 Tufton Street
London SW1P 3QB
Tel: 020 72271933

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