Government offer 30 Million fund to Church of England

13 FEBRUARY 2015
The Church of England has welcomed the Government’s offer of £30m fund for alterations and repairs

The proposed £30M is a welcome contribution to the Church of England’s fund after the unsuccessful attempt to quash the new 20% VAT levy that has been put in place from October this year for all historic building alterations.

It was reported on the BBC that this package has been designed to offset this tax levy and will be put in place over and above the £12m already provided to the listed places of worship grant scheme.           

The Bishop of London the Right Honourable Reverend Richard Chartres commented that it was "recognition of the massive contribution made by congregations up and down the land to the life of their communities”

The Church of England has issued a statement saying that despite not persuading the government that maintaining zero rated VAT for alterations is the best way forward.  Church leaders today said that the £30m a year extra money that the Chancellor has committed to the listed places of worship grant scheme will enable the equivalent to the VAT bill to be paid out on all alterations and repairs to listed church buildings.

They have estimated that the change in VAT will cost the Church of England £20m a year and has warned that it may mean renovation projects intended to create post offices, cafes or crèches from churches, may be scrapped, and could lead to many historic buildings becoming derelict and dilapidated. Directly affecting small communities they reside in.

Many of the churches throughout the UK are in urgent need of modernisation, ramps for disabled people, level, even flooring and new catering facilities and can currently be added free of VAT so this new grant has been thoroughly welcomed.

The Government has promised that the £30M scheme will pay out to those denominations and faiths and the listed places of worship grant scheme will be ring-fenced and not become vulnerable to cuts in departmental budgets.