A three-year extension of a VAT concession on church repairs to March 2025 has been warmly welcomed by the Norfolk Churches Trust who had lobbied the county’s MPs and the minister, Nigel Huddleston, to press for this concession to be extended.
Recently it has been renewed on a yearly basis which meant that towards the end of each year churches were unable to plan repairs with any confidence.
The LPOW (Listed Places of Worship) concession enables the VAT element of qualifying repairs to be reclaimed by all listed places of worship, including chapels.
Otherwise, churches would have been liable for the entire VAT element which is 20% of the project costs.
In a reply to a letter from the Trust’s President, General the Lord Dannatt Mr Huddleston, wrote:
“I am delighted to be able to confirm continued funding for the LPoW grant scheme which has been extended until 31 March 2025. I do hope that this will provide the assurance required to plan necessary works to help keep these important and valued buildings alive for their communities”.
Michael Sayer, chairman of the Norfolk Churches Trust’s Grants’ Committee, said the recent announcement “is great news”.
A leading Norfolk church architect, Mrs Ruth Blackman, of Birdsall Swash and Blackman, said,
“This is an extremely positive outcome as it not only removes the financial risk to those current projects and those about to start, under stringent conditions from other grant aiding sources, but will be a tremendous incentive to continue to repair churches when those responsible have been recently facing ever diminishing grants from other organisations”.