The UK Government recently announced important changes to the scope and operation of the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme and these changes came into effect on 1st October 2013. From this date, works to pipe organs, turret clocks, bells and bell ropes are eligible for claims under the scheme. Professional services directly related to eligible building work such as architect’s fees are also eligible.

Also from 1st October 2013, applications to make use of the scheme are accepted from religious or charitable groups whose principal or primary purpose is to conserve, repair and maintain redundant listed places of worship that are not in private ownership.

The changes to scope will be accompanied by administrative changes to simplify claiming through the scheme:

  • In any twelve month period, each place of worship may submit one claim using eligible invoices with a value of less than £1,000, but more than £500 (excluding the VAT paid). This is in addition to an unlimited number of claims where the value of eligible work carried out (excluding VAT) is £1,000 or greater
  • Scanned or photocopied invoices are now accepted to support claims
  • The scheme will process payment runs each week to deliver a smoother flow of payments to applicants. This will result in most applicants receiving their grant more quickly.
  • Details of all changes and how they will apply are available online here at the website. New application forms and guidance documents can also be downloaded from this website.


The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme makes grants towards the VAT incurred in making repairs and carrying out alterations to listed buildings mainly used for public worship. The scheme has an annual budget of £42m, and presently receives around 4,000 claims each year.

The expansion to include professional fees and works to pipe organs, turret clocks, bells and bell ropes applies to works supplied on or after 1st October 2013.

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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers