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Government to fund £1.8m pilot scheme for sustainable places of worship

New scheme focuses on getting buildings more widely used.

Date published

The Government has announced a £1.8m pilot scheme that will explore ways to secure a sustainable future for listed places of worship. 

The scheme will fund expert advisors to work with custodians of listed buildings used by worshipers of all faiths. The advisors will provide practical guidance on issues such as community use, local partnerships and maintenance planning. 

The announcement follows the December 2017 Taylor Review into the sustainability of English churches and cathedrals. This independent review recommended a programme of change and investment for church buildings, suggesting that congregations should be supported to open up their buildings for wider community use as a way of ensuring a viable future.

Under the new scheme, community support advisors will help to identify relationships between places of worship and the surrounding community and seek to develop and strengthen local partnerships.

Help with planning maintenance and repairs

Fabric support officers will provide expert advice and develop maintenance and repair plans for the buildings. These plans will be designed to ensure that routine repairs can be addressed immediately and prevent the development of more costly problems. Eligible listed places of worship in the pilot areas will also be able to access a £500,000 minor repairs fund.

The projects are expected to begin in Manchester and Suffolk in the autumn of 2018 and will run until the end of March 2020.