Listed Place of Worship
The Grant Scheme
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The 4 Step Process
Step 1 - Place of Worship
Step 2 - Listed Building
Step 3 - Eligible Expenditure
Step 4 - Completing the Application
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The scheme has a fixed annual budget which will be advertised on the LPW Grant Scheme website ( each year.

The funding for the scheme was substantially increased from 2012/13 and the budget confirmed until March 2016. We are confident that this funding will enable full compensation for claims under the scheme. In the unlikely event that this proves not to be the case, advanced notice will be given should there be a need to introduce a cap to the payment or a change to the frequency of payments.

We aim to pay eligible claims within 30 calendar days, where they are accompanied by the correct documentation, and once any queries have been resolved. Large and complex claims and those submitted without the correct and complete documentation are likely to require a longer processing period to allow queries to be resolved.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and HM Treasury holds six-monthly meetings with faith group representatives to review the financial position and operation of the scheme.


Payments will be made once per week. Each month we will publish the value of claims received against the budget.

Changes to the scheme

A number of changes have been made to the scheme since its inception. The most recent changes have brought a wider range of repairs and alterations into scope. In summary:

  • from 1 October 2012, the scope of the scheme was expanded to include most approved alterations to listed places of worship, including plumbing and electrical works, works to kitchens and toilet fittings, certain floor coverings and handrails, decoration works, pews, asbestos removal, and security and forensic systems to prevent crime. These works became eligible where undertaken on or after this date.
  • from 1 October 2013, most professional fees, turret clocks including auto-winding, bells, and works in respect of pipe organs also became eligible for the scheme where undertaken on or after this date. Please read below for further information on these changes and for detail on precisely which works are now in scope.

Changes made to the scheme after 1 October 2013

Following a review of the finances and operation of the scheme, the following restrictions on eligibility will be lifted for works undertaken on or after 1 October 2013:

  • Turret clocks including auto winding became eligible.
  • Bells and bell ropes (in addition to bell frames) became eligible
  • Pipe organs became eligible
  • The cost of professional services, directly related to eligible building work including work necessary at the planning and design stage of such works, are eligible from 1 October 2013. Professional fees not directly associated with eligible building works remain ineligible.

Examples of eligible and ineligible professional fees are given in the table below. This list is not exhaustive.

Architects Surveyors
Conservation advisors Structural engineers
Bat inspectors Archaeologists for work necessary for eligible building
projects (current or planned)
Planning supervisors Health and safety advisors
Maintenance plans  
Accountancy services Costs associated with undertaking Quinquennial
Local authority fees Diocesan faculty charges
Solicitors and lawyers’ fees Fundraising fees

Where a claim covers works before and after 1 October 2013, this must be declared on either the invoice or the application so that it is clear how much of the costs are eligible. In all cases, an invoice must be provided to demonstrate the works to which the fees relate.

Where the cost of professional fees covers both eligible and ineligible works, it may be necessary to apportion such fees, see Note 3.10. One example of this would be where part of the listed place of worship is being converted into residential accommodation. Another might be where the professional fees are in respect of works to both the listed place of worship and an ancillary building which is not eligible under the scheme.

  • Minimum claim value
    From 1 October 2013, each listed place of worship will also be allowed to submit one claim using invoices with a value of less than 1000, but more than 500 (excluding the VAT paid) in any twelve month period. This is in addition to an unlimited number of claims where the value of eligible work carried out (excluding VAT) is 1000 or greater.
  • Photocopied / scanned invoices
    From 1 October 2013, the scheme will accept scanned or photocopied invoices; however the original invoice, or a copy certified by the contractor, will still need to be produced if the claim is subject to a post payment audit.

Previous changes made to the scheme on 1 October 2012

  • Plumbing and electrical works (including lighting), installations and supplies
    Prior to 1 October 2012 the scheme restricted claims for repairs on plumbing and electrical supplies where they formed part of health and safety works, deterioration due to age, were carried out at same time as eligible works, resulted in an upgrade of services or were intended to improve energy efficiency. We removed this restriction for claims on all works carried out on or after 1 October 2012.
  • Heating works, installations and supplies (including boilers, radiators etc)
    Prior to 1 October 2012, the scheme restricted all claims for heating. We removed this restriction for claims on all works carried out on or after 1 October 2012.
  • Kitchens and toilet fittings, floor coverings and handrails
    From 1 October 2012 most works to kitchens, toilet fittings, permanent floor coverings and handrails have been eligible for the scheme. Claims on detachable items such as furniture, shelving, notice boards, dishwashers and ovens remain ineligible. However, where the works create new toilets or bathrooms for the disabled, such works should still be zero-rated under an existing VAT relief (see HMRC Public Notice 701/7 VAT reliefs for disabled people). Floor coverings have been eligible since 1 October 2012 only where they are permanent and part of the fabric of the building. This includes timber, stone, ceramic, marble or solid floors. It does not include carpets, vinyl, removable tiles or decorative soft furnishings.
  • Decoration works
    Prior to 1 October 2012 the scheme restricted claims on decoration where work was undertaken by choice. This is no longer the case and from 1 October 2012, decoration work (including carvings, stone work, re-painting) is eligible providing it is to the fabric of the building.
  • Pews
    Claims to repairs on pews were taken out of scope in January 2011. Works to pews (including permanently attached cushions, kneelers and hassocks) are now eligible for work carried out from 1 October 2012. Any non-fixed items remain ineligible.
  • Asbestos removal
    Prior to 1 October 2012, asbestos removal was ineligible where used to insulate pipes, heating and boilers. All asbestos removal is eligible for work carried out on or after 1 October 2012.
  • Security and forensic systems to prevent crime
    Repairs as a result of metal theft were previously eligible for the scheme, where these expenses were not met by an insurance provider. These will remain in scope and claims on the installation of security and forensic systems to prevent crime (such as specialised fixing, security cameras, marking technology, roof alarms, anti-climb paint) are also eligible for work carried out on or after 1 October 2012.

Transitional arrangements with HMRC for alterations underway prior to 21 March 2012

Under transitional arrangements VAT zero-rating continues to apply until 30 September 2015 for certain approved alterations where either a 'relevant consent' was applied for before 21 March 2012 or a written contract was entered into before 21 March 2012. More information is available in HMRC's Information Sheet 10/12. Please click here for details

Where the work performed qualifies for zero-rating under the transitional rules and your builder has charged VAT in error, the VAT cannot be reclaimed through the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. Your builder should instead consult HMRC's public notice 700/45 on How to correct VAT errors and make adjustments of claims. Please click here for details

There are some other VAT reliefs which may apply to building work supplied to listed places of worship. Examples of these are provided in note 3.5.


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Contact Information
Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
PO Box 609,
Newport NP10 8QD,
South Wales,
United Kingdom
Tel: 0845 601 5945
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