Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme Further Extended

From the 1 October 2013, the legislation on the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme has been further extended. The government has announced further changes to the works that are eligible for grant claims under the scheme.

The purpose of this article is to outline the details surrounding the scheme extension and highlight the additional VAT costs that are now eligible to be reclaimed.

The Listed Places of Worship grant scheme gives grants towards the VAT incurred in making repairs and carrying out alterations to listed buildings, used for public worship. The scheme has an annual budget of £42 million and presently receives around 4000 claims each year.

This scheme was previously extended in October 2012 to compensate for the withdrawal of the zero-rating VAT rule for alterations to listed buildings. The recently announced changes, which came into effect on 1 October 2013, now allow works to pipe organs, turret clocks, bells and bell ropes to be eligible for claims under the scheme. Professional fees and services directly related to the eligible building work such as architect fees have also been included in the scheme. The changes apply to work carried out from 1 October 2013.

Also from this date, applications to allow use of this scheme will be accepted from religious or charitable groups whose principal or primary purpose is to conserve, repair and maintain redundant listed places of worship, which are not in private ownership.

Changes to the scope of eligible work will also be accompanied by changes to the way in which organisations can apply to use the scheme. New administrative changes brought in to simplify the claiming procedure include:

  • A new provision that within any 12 month period, each place of worship may only submit one claim using eligible invoices with a value between £500 and £1,000 (excluding the VAT paid on these invoices). This is in addition to an unlimited number of claims where the value of the eligible work carried out is £1,000 or greater (again excluding VAT);
  • Scanned and photocopied invoices are now accepted to support claims made; and
  • Processing payment runs each week to deliver a smoother and quicker flow of grants to applicants.

If you have any questions about the Listed Places of Worship Scheme or a general question about VAT please contact Helen Mackenzie or Iain Masterton on 0131 558 5800 or email