John Penrose, Minister for Tourism and Heritage has announced that the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme is to be amended.
Currently, listed places of worship, of any faith or denomination, can claim a grant equal to the VAT paid on eligible maintenance and building works. The new measures will see the scheme return to its original scope: works on clocks, pews, bells, organs and professional services such as architects’ fees will be excluded for the rest of the current financial year.
The changes will come into effect from 4 January and will apply until the current end date of the scheme, 31 March. Today’s announcement also applies to the Memorials Grant Scheme, under which professional fees will no longer be eligible from 4 January 2011.
An announcement will follow later in the month about the long term future of the scheme.
An e-mail from DCMS simultaneous with the press release states that the last day for receipt of LPW claims for professional fees and repairs to clocks, pews, bells and organs is 31 December 2010. Any congregation currently undertaking repairs needs to be sure to submit claims by that date or it will lose its grant.