Good news for churches in need of help with building funding

The National Churches Trust (NCT) now offer three different programmes for churches to apply to for funding for building work, depending on circumstances, each with various deadlines in coming months.

A significant step forward which could help parishes facing repairs is the Gateway grant programme which will enable churches to apply for repairs grants for projects between £10-100k.

Several churches in our diocese have been successful in being awarded funds from other grants from the NCT recently, bringing welcome support for much-needed work:

·         St Mary’s Church, Willoughby Waterleys secured a Foundation Grant of £6,462 towards re-roofing the south side of the nave roof with terne-coated stainless steel following metal theft

·         St Andrew’s Church, North Kilworth have been awarded a Cornerstone Grant  of £15,000 towards  the installation of a kitchen and toilets and to improve the churches heating system in order to make the church a hub for the local community

·         St Mary’s Church, Thorpe Arnold received a £15,000 Cornerstone Grant to help to fund urgently needed roof repairs following two lead thefts from the church

The National Churches Trust offers three main grant programmes:

The Foundation Grant Programme

The Foundation Grant Programme offers grants of between £500 and £5,000 towards urgent maintenance works and small repairs identified as high priority within a recent Quinquennial Inspection or Survey Report. Also, small investigative works and surveys. Project costs should be up to £10,000 excl. VAT and awards will never exceed 50% of the costs. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis from the start of 2020. 

Applications for Foundation will be considered on a rolling basis. The final opportunity to submit an application will be 30 October 2020. 

The Gateway Grant Programme

The Gateway Grant Programme offers grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 towards project development and investigative work up to RIBA planning stage 1, to support churches preparing for a major project, and in developing their project to the point at which they can approach a major grant funder. Grants will never exceed 50% of the net project costs for this phase.

The Gateway Grant Programme also now offers grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 for urgent and essential maintenance and repair projects costing between £10,000 and £100,000. Grants will never exceed 50% of the net project costs.

The next deadline for the Gateway Grant Programme is the 14 May 2020 (for a decision in July).

The Cornerstone Grant Programme

The Cornerstone Grant Programme offers grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 towards the cost of major urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £100,000 including VAT.

The NCT will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT. Grants will never exceed 50% of the project cost.

The next deadline for the Cornerstone Grant programme is: 2 March 2020 (for a decision in July 2020).


More information, including videos and how to apply can be found on the website.

The Diocesan Funding Directory 2020 may also be of assistance in finding grants. A copy can be obtained by contacting Gill Elliott, our Buildings Development Enabler on 0116 261 5353 or


Picture caption: ST mary's Church, Thorpe Arnold.






First published on: 7th February 2020
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