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New Year, New Grant Fund

The Culture Recovery Funding (CRF) has a number of strands which offer a mix of grants and repayable finance. Most relevant to our churches is the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, administered jointly by Historic England (HE) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF). This stream has £36m available, in grants from £10k to £3m.

It is important to point out that while listed places of worship are eligible and specifically mentioned in the guidance, this is not a capital repair fund

“…If you look after a listed place of worship you … can apply for funding towards the costs necessary to transition towards full reopening of your listed building to the general public and engage the wider community with your heritage. You cannot apply for funding to undertake work that would be categorised as promotion of your faith or capital projects, such as major repairs…”

Maintenance costs are eligible, as are very urgent minor works when part of a larger project.

“…stabilising heritage that is at immediate risk, for example, scaffolding or urgent minor conservation work (up to a maximum of 20% of the amount applied for)"

The focus of CRF2 is very much on re-opening and welcoming people back in spring and early summer, whether visitors, communities or commercial partners.  It will support organisations to transition from the challenging months of lockdowns and social distancing to resume business activity and welcome visitors back to the country’s diverse heritage sites.

“…You can bid for grants to support the costs you face as you transition towards full reopening. This funding will support you to build up your operations and begin a programme of heritage activity in April-June 2021. The funding aims to ensure that by the end of June 2021, your organisation will be operating on a viable and sustainable basis…”

You can apply to cover costs associated with shortfalls in income during the period April-June 2021, which could include: 

  • staffing 
  • overheads
  • marketing
  • heritage activities
  • maintenance of buildings and land, equipment and services

Any costs incurred before 31 March 2021 and operating costs beyond 30 June 2021 will be ineligible.

Neither the NLHF or HE is able to offer specific help to individual applicants but there are some webinars on the 13th and 14th January which may help answer any questions that arise. Please note these were previously fully booked, but capacity has been increased and places are now available to book.

To book a place on a webinar and read the full guidance about the funding and how to apply, visit:

Please read the details carefully, including the application form questions.

The Church Buildings Council have also produced some notes on the application criteria and form, focusing on eligible costs, how to approach some of the stock questions that all applicants have to complete, and how churches might demonstrate their alignment to the specific requirements of this scheme.

If you feel you would like to apply and would like some help, please contact Holly Isted or Sue Dickinson.


Applications for CRF2 open on 7th January and close on 26th January.

Any grants awarded will have to be spent by the end of June 2021.

Applications must be made via the online form on the Heritage Fund website.

Page last updated: Wednesday 6th January 2021 1:12 PM
First published on: 6th January 2021
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