Revised details regarding metal theft in respect of the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund in the light of Ecclesiastical’s (EIG) 15 January statement have been confirmed to us. It’s complicated, but in essence the £10K current cap is now raised substantially and more churches can access the fund – but it depends on being fully insured. I think! Here is the mailing we received:
Metal theft cases will now be considered under the LPOW Roof Repair Fund, provided that the funded works can be insured for their full reinstatement value against theft, loss or damage. NHMF has this insurance requirement as standard, to ensure the highest standards of probity in the distribution of public money. In its statement on 15 January EIG confirmed that effective from 1 February 2015, the revised limit for replacement of external metal after theft (if an approved roof alarm and SmartWater are in place) will be £25,000, with an additional £25,000 available for subsequent damage (and £7,500 with an additional £7,500 available for subsequent damage if only SmartWater is in place). This will be applicable to grants under the Roof Repair Fund and will open applications up to far more churches than is possible with the current £10,000 cap. Furthermore, NHMF has agreed the costs of installing roof alarms to be grant eligible, thereby helping parishes meet EIG’s condition of insurance.
The LPOW Roof Repair Fund administrators have confirmed they will henceforth accept all applications from churches that require replacement of roof metal following a theft without proof of insurance. This includes a small number of churches that require cover in excess of the revised limits, as EIG has said it is looking to provide top-up cover for an additional premium to such churches. Without full insurance cover churches will not be eligible for grants.
We hope that you can communicate this quickly to the parishes of which you are aware that had hoped to make an application due to metal theft, but found themselves ineligible. Some will feel that they have been put on the back foot with only two weeks now to the deadline for the applications; there is unfortunately little that can be done about this, other than making them aware of the difficult process it has been to implement this significant and far-reaching change. Also, please note that evidence of adequate insurance cover will not be necessary as part of the application process and will only be needed after the award is made and before any grant is paid.
I’d like to thank all of the DACs and Archdeacons that have been keeping us abreast of developments and the likely volume of applications in your diocese. This has been much appreciated by the Fund administrators, who have been looking for what indications they can of the likely uptake across the UK. At this point, it appears that will be a very healthy number of applicants, but please continue to encourage all eligible parishes to proceed with their application. As we have said before, there is no upper limit to how many can apply from each diocese and we hope that strong demand will demonstrate to the Government how much need there is for this kind of funding.
Finally, as we enter the final two weeks of the application period, may I remind you that if you or any parishes have any queries about the application process, don’t hesitate to call either the Fund administrators on 01392 223 979 or Lisa McIntyre in our office on 020 7898 1864.
Director, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division