THE 4 STEP PROCESS
The 4-step process will assist you in understanding whether or not you are eligible for the scheme. If you can answer “yes”
to the three questions below, you should complete the application form:
- Is it a listed building where the sole or main use is as a place of public religious worship?
- Is it available to the general public for at least 6 religious services a year and availability is publicised and is not by
- Are the works eligible?
If you require any assistance, please speak
to one of our operators on 0800 500 3009. Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobiles.
STEP 1- PLACE OF WORSHIP
Note 1.1: ‘solely or mainly’
The building’s sole or main use must be as a public
place of worship.
In most cases church halls do not meet the criterion of
solely or mainly being in use for public religious worship.
need to provide evidence that use for public religious worship
outweighs the total of all other uses. In order to be eligible,
hall must also be a listed building in its own right.
In cases where a Hall is primarily
used for public religious worship, we may meet some costs,
but only those which arise in relation to use as a place of
public religious worship. All invoices will therefore need
to be apportioned accordingly.
Ancillary listed buildings/stand-alone or separate
structures are not included unless they fulfil
all the same conditions as the principal building, i.e. their
sole or main use is as a place of public religious worship,
or they are permanently linked to and form part of the structure
of the listed building.
The scheme is designed to assist works to places of worship
where the costs would be the responsibility of a local
congregation or a recognised denomination or faith group.
Private chapels, and
chapels at schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons
and almshouses, are not eligible under the
scheme unless ALL of
the following apply:
- The building is available to the general public for at
least 6 religious services a year, and that availability
is publicised and is not by invitation only
- The buildings sole or main purpose is as a place of public
- The costs of works are the responsibility of a local congregation
or recognised faith group
Areas of the building used for accommodation are not eligible
under the scheme. The only exception to this is where the
accommodation is provided for use on a temporary basis only
as a refuge for the homeless or for similar social/welfare
purposes. Where an element of the building is used for ineligible
accommodation, the percentage of space allocated for this
use must be made clear on the application.
A building used or made available for use by a minister
or religion wholly or mainly as a residence from which to
perform the duties of his/her office is not included.
The scheme covers only formally constituted religious organisations.
You will be asked to certify that the religious
organisation the place of worship serves:
has charitable status, or is recognised as a charity by
is covered by a parochial church council or equivalent;
if none of these apply, you will be asked to provide a
copy of your constitution.
The building must be used as a place
of public worship at least six
times a year. You will be asked to certify that
this is the
case, and further enquiries may be made.
Note 1.4: ‘monasteries, nunneries and specific organisations
which look after redundant churches’
Certain places of worship are not required to demonstrate
that buildings are used for public religious worship at least
six times a year. These are places of worship used by monasteries,
nunneries or other similar establishments, and churches owned
or vested in certain specific organisations that look after
redundant places of worship. These
are the Historic Chapels Trust, the Friends of Friendless
Churches, the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust, the Churches
Conservation Trust and the Welsh Religious Buildings Trust.
From 1 October 2013. The DCMS will consider applications
from other religious or charitable groups caring for redundant
places of worship. These groups would need to demonstrate
that their principal or primary purpose is to conserve, repair
and maintain redundant listed places of worship which are
not in private ownership.
Applications should be made in the first instance to the
Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme and should include the
registered charity number where applicable, along with any
other supporting evidence to show how the criteria are met.
For monasteries and nunneries, and similar establishments
of other faiths, only the element of the building
used for religious worship is eligible. Other areas within
the building (e.g. accommodation, dining area etc.) are not
eligible. If works cover both eligible and ineligible areas,
this split must be stated on the application.
STEP 2 - LISTED BUILDING
Note 2.1: ‘listed building’
In order to be eligible to apply, your place of worship
must be listed with the relevant statutory listing agency
(Historic England, CADW, Historic Scotland or Northern Ireland
Environment Agency), and your claim must relate to works undertaken
while the listing has been in force.
Listings carried out by local councils are not acceptable
within the scheme. The listing must be approved by the relevant
statutory listing agency.
If your claim is returned because we cannot identify
your listing, it does not necessarily mean that the place
of worship is not listed – it may mean that the details
recorded at the time of listing differ slightly to those on
the application. You should return your application together
with paperwork to demonstrate your listing with the relevant
statutory listing agency.
Part of our approval process will be to check against the
statutory records that your building is formally listed. Buildings
can be listed for their architectural or historic interest,
close historical association with nationally important people
or events, or group value by the listing authority in your
country. Age and rarity are relevant considerations, and the
older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. Buildings
under thirty years old are not normally considered for listing.
Details of how to apply to have a building listed are shown
in Annex A.
Historic England manages the National Heritage List for
England database which provides access to up to date information
on all nationally designated heritage assets in England. You
can use the database to check if a building in England is
Historic Scotland also manage a database to provide information
on listed buildings in Scotland. You can use the following
database to check if a building in Scotland is listed:
You can search for listed buildings in Northern Ireland
using the database managed by the Department of the
Environment, Northern Ireland:
Step 3 – ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURE
Note 3.1: Minimum value of works eligible for the scheme
The minimum value of invoices (excluding VAT) for
any one claim to the scheme is £1,000. An application
may comprise a number of smaller invoices, but each claim
must apply to works that are eligible under the scheme and
together generate combined invoice values of no less than
£1000 excluding VAT.
From 1 October 2013, each listed place of worship
will also be allowed to submit one claim in respect of works
with a value of less than £1000, but more than £500 (excluding
the VAT paid) in any twelve month period. This change
has been introduced to enable places of worship undertaking
smaller works to claim under the scheme.
Note 3.2: Invoices in excess of 12 months old
Invoices will not be accepted where they are in excess of
12 months old from the date of issue to the date the grant
claim is received.
Note 3.3: ‘repair, maintenance or alteration’
Only works carried out to repair, maintain or alter the fabric
of an existing listed building are eligible.
The fabric includes foundations, walls, roofs, rainwater
goods, drainage, internal surfaces, floors, stairs, landings,
lightning conductors and all doors and windows. A list of
eligible and ineligible works is set out in the Eligibility
Alterations or works to the fabric of a listed place of worship
may require relevant consent from the appropriate authorities.
In the case of an ecclesiastical building to which section
60 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas)
Act 1990 or Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 applies, relevant
consent means consent for the approved alterations by a competent
body with the authority to approve alterations to such buildings.
Written evidence of this approval is not required to be submitted
within each claim. However applicants will be asked to declare
that where consent for alteration works is required, that
they have obtained this approval before undertaking the works.
Applicants may be asked to provide written evidence of approval
or to demonstrate why consent was not required, if their claim
is selected for a post-payment audit.
If applicants are unsure whether consent for alteration works
is required, they should contact their denominational advisory
body (in the case of denominations operating the Ecclesiastical
Exemption) or their Local Authority.
Note 3.4: ‘VAT registered’
To claim under the scheme, eligible works must be carried
out by a VAT registered contractor. You should not be charged
VAT for any work supplied by a contractor who is not VAT registered.
You should check that the contractor is registered for VAT
by asking for his/her VAT registration number, which must
be shown on the invoice. Post -payment audit checks are carried
out on a percentage of claims. If you are selected for one
of these checks, you should be aware that we will contact
all contractors for whom you have claimed VAT on your application,
to confirm various details.
Places of worship that are registered for VAT because they
charge entrance fees or run business activities can recover
a proportion of the VAT they incur through Her Majesty’s Revenue
The level of irrecoverable VAT in the case of these buildings
will represent the maximum payable under the scheme. For example,
if 40% of a place of worship is classed as commercial property,
and it is able to recover 40% of VAT costs through HMRC, then
only the remaining 60% of VAT costs would be recoverable through
the LPW Grant Scheme, if they relate to eligible works.
Further detail on VAT reliefs available to listed buildings
is set out at Note 3.5 below.
Link to relevant guidance note
Not all building work supplied to a listed place of worship
will be standard rated. There are other VAT reliefs which
apply more widely to buildings used by charities or buildings
used for a relevant charitable use (non-business use by a
charity or as a village hall or similar). These include:
- The supply to a charity of the service of the construction
of ramps and widening of doorways & passages in any building
for the purpose of facilitating a disabled person's entry
and movement therein (see Public Notice 701/7 “VAT Reliefs
for Disabled People” Chapter 6).
- The supply to a charity of the service of providing, extending
or adapting a bathroom or toilet for use by a disabled person
in a building used mainly for charitable purposes (see Public
Notice 701/7 “VAT Reliefs for Disabled People” Chapter 6).
- The construction and sale of a new building to be used
solely for a relevant charitable purpose (see Public Notice
708 Buildings and Construction Chapter 3). A building is
- when there was no building on the area of construction
- the previous building was demolished to ground level
- all that remains of the previous building is a single
façade or when on a corner site, a double façade. In
both cases, retention of the façades must be a condition
of the planning consent.
- In some cases, the construction of a new
annex to a listed place of worship will
be zero-rated for VAT purposes. (An annex, for the purpose
of determining VAT liability, is attached to a building)
Zero-rating occurs where the following conditions are
- the annex is intended to be used solely for a
relevant charitable use
- the annex is capable of functioning independently
from the existing building
- the main access to the annex is not through the
existing building or converse.
In cases where what is constructed does not meet the conditions
above, it will not be zero-rated for VAT purposes and is likely
to be an enlargement of, or an extension to the building.
Such works are likely to be eligible for the LPW Grant Scheme.
Reduced Rate Relief
Until 31 July 2013 the installation of certain energy-saving
materials was subject to the reduced rate of 5% when installed
in buildings used for a relevant charitable purpose. See Public
Notice 708/6 “Energy-Saving Materials” Chapter 2. This relief
was withdrawn with effect from 1 August 2013.
VAT Costs From Works Related To Taxable Supplies
VAT costs incurred in works that relate directly to taxable
supplies are not eligible for the scheme and any such costs
should be recovered through the VAT system. This may include
works to shops and cafes. Further information on this is available
Public Notices are available in the Library section of HMRC’s
web site www.hmrc.gov.uk
For queries regarding the charging of VAT on works to listed
places of worship you should contact the HMRC Charities
Helpline, which is open Monday to Friday (excluding public
holidays) 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, on 0845 302 0203. Written enquiries
should be sent to:
HM Revenue & Customs Charities
St. Johns House
Note 3.6: ‘VAT invoice’
You must submit with your application an original, photocopied
or scanned invoice from the contractor certifying that the
VAT has been paid. Where photocopied or scanned invoices are
submitted the applicant will be required to sign a confirmation
on the application form that it is a true copy and that the
original will be produced if the claim is selected for audit.
Claims will not be paid without this documentary evidence.
Invoices will not be accepted where they are in excess of 12 months old from the date of issue to the date the grant claim is
received. All invoices must bear the contractor’s VAT registration number and the date of issue. If these details are not
present your claim will be rejected.
Only works for which VAT has been correctly charged and has been paid are eligible. Where a claim includes an invoice
relating to both eligible and ineligible buildings or works the split must be declared on either the invoice or in column 4 of
The minimum value of eligible work carried out on
any one claim to the scheme is £1,000 (excluding
VAT). An application may comprise a number of smaller invoices,
but each claim must apply to works that are eligible under
the scheme and together generate invoice values of no less
than £1000 excluding the VAT paid (see note 3.1).
From 1 October 2013, each listed place of worship
will also be allowed to submit one claim using invoices of
less than £1000, but more than £500 in value (excluding the
VAT paid) in any twelve month period.
If you are applying on behalf of several different buildings please be aware that each place of worship has a unique
identification number, therefore for recording and reporting purposes, a separate application must be completed for each
individual place of worship.
Note 3.7: Retention Invoices
Retention invoices (invoices for final payments where money has been retained until an agreed period after completion of
the works) can be included with other eligible expenditure to ensure the minimum claim value is achieved. As always, please
ensure that all the invoices are submitted within 12 months of the date of issue.
When submitting a claim relating to a retention invoice you should provide invoices or other documentary evidence that the
retention invoice relates to building works which were eligible for claims under the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme at
the time the works were carried out.
Note 3.8: Insurance
The scheme will not pay on claims where the cost of VAT has been covered by an insurance company and will not pay
grants on any excess payable by the claimant. Where an insurance company does not meet VAT costs, claimants will be
required to provide documentation to certify this.
If you are claiming VAT costs where some costs have been covered by insurance, you should ensure that the invoice
supporting the claim is not addressed to the insurance company, but to the place of worship, or relevant contact within the
place of worship.
If you are not covered by insurance, the entire VAT amount can still be claimed through this scheme.
Note 3.9: Previous grant award
If the works covered have been the subject of a previous grant award for the costs of building works, including VAT, from
Historic England, Historic Scotland, Cadw, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund, or another
Lottery distributor or grant giving body, places of worship will be required to pay the relevant proportion of the grant
received from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme back to the statutory agencies (above), unless the original grant
was already adjusted to take account of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.
As a signatory, you will be asked to certify that the place of worship will make the repayments due. Details of these
applications will be provided to the relevant grant awarding agencies.
Note 3.10: Contracts of Works
When submitting a first application for a contract of works, this must be supported by the associated tender document (this
may also be referred to as a ‘priced Specification of Works’ or ‘Bill of Quantities’). This document should detail the works
being undertaken together with associated values. Please be aware that where this document is not submitted or does not
provide the required details, your claim will be returned for further action.
The grant scheme will review the supporting documentation and calculate the eligible percentage of the overall contract.
This percentage will then be applied to any relevant eligible professional fees.
Step 4 – COMPLETING THE APPLICATION
Please only complete the application
form if you have followed the 4-step process illustrated above
and think you are eligible for the scheme.
Please complete the application form clearly and ensure all
sections are completed. This will help to prevent delays in
processing and payment of your claim. Please send your completed
form to Topmark(LPOW), 160 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4TB. We strongly recommend
that you obtain proof of postage, and retain a copy of your
application and all supporting documents.
Please note that from 23rd June 2014 there are now additional ways to submit your application to us.
- It is now possible to download an electronic version of the application form from this website,
type your responses and then email the form directly to us, together with electronic copies or scans of the
supporting documentation. You can also submit the form by email and the invoices separately by post if you are
unable to send electronic copies or scans.
- You can download the form, complete this by hand and submit this by email or post.
- Alternatively, if you require a paper version of the application form sent to you,
please call us on 0800 500 3009 or send a request by email.
If you require any assistance,
please speak to one of our operators on 0800 500 3009. Calls to this number are free from landlines and mobiles.
|Section 1: Contact Details
|Name/dedication of the listed place of worship
||Please provide the full name of the listed place of
worship to which the application relates.
|Address of the listed place of worship
||Please provide the address of the listed place of worship
to which the application relates. Please note
that county must be completed in all cases. We also require the postcode to be supplied.
|Name of local authority / council in whose area the
place of worship is located.
||Please provide the name of the local authority or council
in which the place of worship is located. In Wales and
Scotland this will be the Unitary. In Northern Ireland
this will be the District Council. In England this will
either be the London Borough, the Metropolitan Borough,
the District Council or the Unitary Council.
|Religion or Denomination
||Please provide the religion and/or denomination served
by the place of worship.
|Name of person/organisation with legal responsibility
for the works to which the application relates.
||This may be you or it may be another body
||Please provide the name of whoever would be best placed
to deal with queries, should the need arise. You should
also be aware that this individual will receive all correspondence
(including payment remittance and returned invoices).
The grant administrators are not able to speak
to any other individual regarding resolution of queries.
|Section 2: Place of Worship
||See Step1 Place of Worship Note 1.1
||See Step1 Place of Worship Note 1.3
||See Step1 Place of Worship Note 1.4
||See Step1 Place of Worship Note 1.2
|Section 3: Listed Building
|10 Listing grade or category
||Listed buildings have a number of grades or categories.
Please provide the listing grade or category if you know
|Section 4: Eligible Expenditure
||See Step 3 Eligible Expenditure
|12 Description of works
||Please note we may need to verify that the works relate
to the fabric of the building as explained in Step 3 of
the guidance notes. You should ensure the supporting documentation
you enclose enables us to do this.
||See Step 3 Eligible Expenditure Note 3.4
||See Step 3 Eligible Expenditure Note 3.4
|15 Effective net rate of VAT
||We will need to see evidence of any VAT business/nonbusiness
apportionment method agreed with HM Revenue and Customs.
This will normally be in the form of a letter from HMRC
and should be enclosed
with your application.
||See Note 3.9 Eligible Expenditure.
||See Note 3.3 Eligible Expenditure.
||See Note 3.3 Eligible Expenditure.
5: Your claim
Examples of claims are shown below:
The works within the invoice are fully
% Eligible Works
Total Amount of
||Eligible Invoice amount before VAT is
|| The actual VAT rate charged (in the
majority of cases the current rate of VAT will be 20%).
|| The amount of work within the invoice
you consider eligible. (Above example is fully eligible
so this is 100%.
Example below is only partially eligible, so this shows
a reduced percentage).
|| The money you are requesting from the
grant scheme in respect of the specified invoice.
The works within the invoice are only partially
% Eligible Works
Total Amount of
The minimum value of eligible work carried out on any one claim to the scheme is £1,000 (excluding VAT), see note 3.1 for
an exception to this. If you have not undertaken works to this value, please keep all your documentation and submit the
application when you have the additional eligible invoices, which will bring the total to the required minimum amount.
Please note invoices cannot be accepted where they are in excess of 12 months old from the date of issue to the date the
grant claim is received.
If your claim includes alterations (either as part of this application or as part of a contract of works), you may be requested
to provide documentary evidence of the planning consent if selected for post payment audit.
6: Your payment details
Payments will only be made to bank/building society accounts authorised for official use by the place of worship to
which the application relates.
Please ensure all declarations are ticked as incomplete applications will be returned.
This should be signed by an authorised individual in the
organisation that has legal responsibility for the place of
Please ensure if submitting the application by email that you copy in the counter signatory.
Please refer to the checklist on the Application Form prior to submitting your application.