Listed places of worship

UPDATE: The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme website has updated its FAQs with information regarding an extension to the scheme. Under the question: What is the deadline / time limit for a claim to be submitted? The website states that: “The scheme will only accept invoices up to 12 months from the date of issue. The Government has confirmed the funding available for the scheme until 31st March 2021.”

Under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, listed buildings used as places of worship  and meeting certain conditions have benefited from a matching grant to refund VAT spent on approved repairs and maintenance

Following the announcement that the zero rate of VAT for approved alterations to listed buildings would be withdrawn from 1 October 2012, the Government announced that it would be extending the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme also to cover approved alterations. Additional funding of up to £30m a year (from 2012/13) has been allocated to the scheme for the duration of the current Parliament. The extended scheme incorporated repairs, maintenance and approved alterations to listed places of worship and became operational on 1 October 2012.

From that date:

  • The scheme returned to a system of monthly payments with the first payments made in November 2012
  • Restrictions on claims for repairs on plumbing and electrical supplies where they form part of health and safety works as a result of deterioration due to age that are carried out at same time as eligible works, resulting in an upgrade of services or intended to improve energy efficiency, were removed
  • Most restrictions on claims on works to kitchens and lavatory fittings, floor coverings and handrails were removed
  • Claims on furniture, shelving, noticeboards and other detachable items remain ineligible
  • Floor coverings are eligible only where permanent and part of the fabric of the building
  • Decoration (including carvings, stonework, re-painting) is eligible provided it is to the fabric of the building
  • Works to pews are eligible
  • All asbestos removal is eligible

The following items were added to the eligibility criteria for work undertaken from 1 October 2012:

  • Claims on security and forensic systems to prevent crime
  • Repairs as a result of metal theft were previously eligible for the scheme, where these expenses are not met by an insurance provider
  • Claims on the installation of security and forensic systems to prevent crime (such as specialised fixing, security cameras, marking technology, roof alarms, anti-climb paint)

VAT levied on professional fees remained ineligible for refund under the Scheme.

The following additional changes were, however, made to the scheme for works undertaken on or after  1 October 2013:

  • Turret clocks including auto winding became eligible
  • Bells and bell ropes (in addition to bell frames) became eligible
  • Pipe organs became eligible
  • The cost of professional services, directly related to eligible building work including work necessary at the planning and design stage of such works, are eligible from 1 October 2013. Professional fees not directly associated with eligible building works remain ineligible

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