||Churches Trust For Cumbria
Welcome to the CTFC Newsletter
April Newsletter 2012
In this edition:
• Budget 2012: VAT on alterations to listed churches to be charged at 20%
• Free church guides
• English Heritage grants
• Revised guidance: ‘New works in historic places of worship'
• CTfC staff changes
Breaking News - Budget 2012: VAT to be charged at 20% on alterations to listed churches
The Government has announced the withdrawal of zero-rated VAT on approved alterations to listed buildings. From 1 October 2012, alterations to listed churches will be subject to the standard rate (20%) of tax. This will have significant cost implications for churches wanting to install kitchens, WCs and disabled access in order to increase and enhance the use of their buildings.
The Bishop of London, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Church of England's Cathedral & Church Buildings Division has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, asking him to exclude listed places of worship from the extension to the VAT regime, or to provide additional funds to the grant scheme (see below). Letters and further information about the VAT changes can be found on the Church of England's website here.
The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme continues to operate. This grant refunds part of the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings and churches. The Treasury will extend this scheme to include alterations to listed churches; however this raises concerns that the limited fund will be stretched even further because of the greater number of applicants. For details on this scheme click here or telephone 0845 601 5945.
It is estimated that the increase in VAT for alterations will cost the Church of England up to £20 million per annum on works to its 12,500 listed church buildings. If you would like to take action, please contact your local MP with examples of how this extra 20% charge will impact on your communities and fundraising.
Revised Guidance: ‘New Works in Historic Places of Worship‘
English Heritage has recently published this revised document which guides you in the process of making changes to your church as well as the principles that English Heritage (EH) applies when considering proposals for the alteration or extension of historic places of worship. It also contains information on specific elements such as heating and disabled access. The document can found here or by contacting EH on 0870 333 1181 or by e-mail.
Free Church Guides
ChurchGuides.co.uk is a new organisation which links volunteer writers with churches in need of a new church guide. They offer a free service of writing a new church guide, and is open to any place of worship. But if you wish to write your own church guide, or revamp your existing one, there is a ‘how to' section on their website which gives guidance on writing a church guide and they have mentors, with experience in church history, art and architecture, to help you. More details can be found here.
English Heritage Grants & Workshop
The deadline for English Heritage's repair grant for listed places of worship is 30th June for Grade I and II* listed churches (and 30th September for Grade II). It can take some time to complete the application process therefore it is a good idea to start planning now. A workshop is available on Wednesday 2nd May in Manchester to look specifically at how to fill in an application form, what information they require in support of the application and what kind of repair work they consider to be eligible for a grant. The grant is for any any listed place of worship in use which needs works within the next 1-2 years in order to keep it structurally sound, wind and water-tight. Their grants are not for alterations, reordering or new works e.g. WCs, extensions etc.
The number of places at the workshop is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Date: Wednesday 2 May 2012
Venue: Training Room, 4th Floor, Church House, 90 Deansgate, Manchester
Who: Up to two representatives from your place of worship can attend.
Contact: To attend, contact Linda Calvert telephone 0161 242
If you are not able to attend, but would like further information and advice on the scheme, contact English Heritage on 0161 242 1400. Further information on the scheme can also be found here.
CTfC Staff Changes
Goodbye to Gina. Gina Dowding was instrumental in setting up the Churches Trust for Cumbria four years ago. As one of the Directors of CTfC, her commitment and imagination was invaluable in shaping the organisation. She will be much missed but we wish her the best of luck in her future career with the Green Party.
Hello to Ruth. Ruth Garratt joins the Trust this month. Ruth has a background in archaeology and historic buildings; most recently working with English Heritage where she advised on changes to historic buildings and assessed repair grants. Ruth will work alongside Jemma to support Cumbria's churches.