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Emergency Grants for Historic Buildings Announced

Emergency Grants for Historic Buildings Announced

On the 9th June, Historic England released its second round of Covid-19 related emergency funding. Grants of up to £25,000 are now available for urgent minor repairs to problems such as damaged roofs, masonry and windows, to hire scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or to commission surveys necessary to inform urgent repairs. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is the 28th June.

Church buildings are eligible as long as they are:

  • Grade I and II*, that are publicly accessible for a minimum of 28 days per year
  • Grade II that are publicly accessible for a minimum of 28 days per year and situated in either a conservation area and are a significant component of the character of that conservation area.

Priority will be given to buildings on the Heritage at Risk register, but the grant scheme is open to all eligible buildings.

What projects are eligible for this grant scheme?

  • Total project costs, excluding VAT, cannot exceed £30,000.
  • Urgent minor repairs and/or maintenance work needed within the next 12 months to reduce the risk of loss or damage.*
  • Project development work to understand the site and/or inform repair work necessary within the next 12 months. This can include condition or investigative surveys, specifications and drawings for a repair project or a tender process to find a contractor
  • Temporary measures or holding repairs; such as putting up scaffolding and / or temporary propping to prevent a structure collapsing or temporary roofing and weather protection
  • Consolidation works associated with standing masonry and structures
  • Specialised tasks, for example broken/damaged stained-glass windows
  • Preliminary costs associated with any of the above
  • Professional fees
  • Irrecoverable VAT
  • Works insurance
  • The work funded must be started before Saturday 31 October 2020. 

Grants cannot be used to fund:

  • Repair work that forms part of a larger project above the value of £30,000 in total (net/excluding VAT) in other words the eligible minor repairs must be a 'standalone' package of work
  • Repair or maintenance work that has started or been completed before we have offered you a grant and received a signed grant contract from you
  • Projects not involving a conservation-accredited or suitably qualified and experienced professional adviser or contractor (we will advise successful applicants where this will be necessary)
  • Works that do not have the necessary consents in place or in process prior to making a full application (consent is not required at Expression of Interest stage)
  • Works that cannot start before 31 October 2020*
  • Works that will be completed after 30 September 2021*
  • Project development work for repairs that are not required within the next 12 months
  • Contingency funding
  • Works to sites including private domestic dwellings that do not allow at least 28 days public access or only allow public access by appointment
  • Works that should normally be fully covered by insurance
  • Works that have already been grant aided by Historic England or another third party

*If the repair work is urgent (should be undertaken within 12 months) but there are valid reasons why this will not be possible (such as delays due to protected species) you might still be able to apply for funding.  Contact the scheme directly or complete an Expression of Interest.

Match Funding

Historic England will expect you to contribute towards the project costs from your own resources where you are able to. They aim to provide enough grant funding to enable the project to go ahead. In exceptional cases, they will consider offering a grant up to a maximum of £25,000 (plus any recoverable VAT).

Application steps

  • Read the guidance
  • Complete an Expression of Interest survey - deadline Sunday 28 June 2020
  • You will be notified if your EOI has been successful by Monday 27 July 2020
  • Submit a full application - deadline Monday 31 August 2020

For full details visit and download the Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund: Guidance Notes for Applicants

For further enquiries contact


If you need any assistance in understanding the guidance or completing forms, please contact Sue Dickinson or Holly Isted from the Church Buildings Team at the Diocese of Ely.

Page last updated: Wednesday 10th June 2020 3:48 PM
First published on: 10th June 2020
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