18th December 2014

A one off £15million roof repair fund administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport has been launched, inviting applications from congregations responsible for looking after listed places of worship. Applications for between £10,000 and £100,000 can be submitted, to cover the cost of not only roof repairs but any associated bat surveys and bat mitigation that may be necessary. Deadline for applications is Friday 30 January 2015

Designed to provide financial aid to congregations of all faiths looking to preserve buildings and their interiors from further damage, the fund is intended to help these churches remain open for worship.

Given the limited time for applications and the size of the grants being offered, a large number of listed places of worship are likely to apply and a significant number of these buildings will likely require bat surveys before work can be carried out.

The Natural England volunteer service offer free surveys to places of worship looking to undertake minor repair works, however in some cases professional consultants may need to be employed from the outset, particularly for more complex procedures. It is recommended therefore that churches applying for this fund make full allowance for the cost of potential professional consultancy work, including bat surveys and licenses, within their applications.

A document providing guidance for applicants, as well as details about bat surveys and their importance can be found on the website: http://www.lpowroof.org.uk/sites/default/files/HPWRRF_Guidance.pdf