£1.9million to increase the resilience of places of worship
The three-year Cherish programme will deliver support to places of worship in Scotland, Wales and the north west of England (Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria).
The National Churches Trust will distribute the £1.9m funding on our behalf to safeguard the future of some of the UK’s most treasured historic buildings. Grants will be available from May.
Practical support for places of worship
Cherish will provide support with boosting skills and resources for places of worship and their communities, including:
- grants for small repairs, project development and maintenance from £500–£10,000, beginning in May 2023
- maintenance advice to address problems with historic buildings to avoid the need for expensive repairs
- crisis support for communities facing the potential loss of their local historic buildings
- resourcing for local issues through three support officers
- digital toolkit including buildings care and income generating advice
- training to improve local capacity to look after buildings in need, including skills in project management, writing funding bids, maintenance and tourism
- visitors and tourism support through improving access and awareness of places of worship, creating tourism trails and engaging with partners across UK heritage
Support will be tailored to local needs highlighted in our research with stakeholders. Places of worship in Scotland and the north west of England will get help with exploring community uses for their buildings, while places in Wales will benefit from developing their visitor offer.
A proven way of making a difference
This partnership builds on the success of Treasure Ireland, a pilot project run by the National Churches Trust which helped over 300 places of worship in Northern Ireland with support and small repair grants.
Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “Churches and chapels are some of our most historic and beautiful buildings. At the centre of local communities, they also provide a home for countless community support such as playgroups, drop-in-centres and warm spaces, as well as serving their core purpose as places of worship.
“As well as providing much needed immediate help and practical support, this partnership will allow us to develop new ways of supporting churches and chapels so that they can remain open and available, in use and valued by all."
Joining forces with the National Churches Trust
This grant will direct funding to where it's most needed, protecting and caring for some of our most precious and fragile heritage, at the heart of communities.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund
Our collaboration on Cherish is a sign of things to come. When we asked your opinion on our new 10-year strategy, you told us collaboration was crucial to how we can better support the UK’s heritage.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “As the UK’s largest funder of heritage, we want to collaborate with organisations who share our vision and understand heritage and the people they support.
“Our long-term partnership with the National Churches Trust builds on our wide-ranging experience of grant-making to conserve heritage and bring new life and purpose to cherished churches and chapel buildings.
“As we look to launch our new ten-year strategy this week, we’ve listened to what the sector and the public want. This grant will direct funding to where it's most needed, protecting and caring for some of our most precious and fragile heritage, at the heart of communities.”
Project applications and further information
The National Churches Trust will invite applications for support from May 2023.
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