Brighouse-based energy efficiency and heritage roof specialist, Ploughcroft, is launching a campaign to help save the region’s historical churches, making it easier for them to access a potential £40m in little-known funding for restoration work.
The campaign comes on the back of the government extending its ‘Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund’, where listed churches across the UK can access special funding to make roof repairs up to the value of £100,000.
Ploughcroft is now offering free information and advice to churches wanting to find out more about the next tranche of funding which is due to be released later in the year, helping guide them through the process, giving them a better chance of accessing the fund before it is too late.
And with its energy efficiency expertise, Ploughcroft can not only repair the church’s roof, but also ensure the congregation are kept warm, with its energy-saving English Heritage-approved Thermal Blanket. Based on similar historical buildings, Ploughcroft can improve a roof’s thermal efficiency five-fold.
The funding was originally released in December 2014, offering a total of £15 million towards church repairs. However, it was severely oversubscribed and as a result, was fully allocated and closed by January 2015. Thanks to this significant demand, a further £40 million in funding was recently announced in the pre-election budget, almost tripling the original allocation.
However, in order to apply for the ‘Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund’, churches must have a professional survey completed in advance, outlining all roof repair work necessary within the next five years.
Chris Hopkins, managing director at Ploughcroft, said: “Raising money for a church roof is such a typical British community pastime, and now that there’s Government money available, it’s important we properly inform communities’ local churches and places of worship about how to apply for it.
“The funding is a great way for iconic churches across the region to ensure that they get the roofing repairs that their building so desperately needs, at a fraction of the cost. However, the problem is that many churches are not aware that the funding even exists.
“Out of the 502 churches to receive the funding in 2015, only 35 of those were from Yorkshire and as a Yorkshire firm, we want to make sure that this is not the case in 2016.
“We’re urging churches and church goers from across the region to spread the word and act as soon as they possibly can in order to ensure their special church is not left to ruin.
“Ploughcroft can help to complete the necessary survey and assist in putting together a bid for the funding. The key here is to be prepared and make sure everything is completed in advance.”