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Churches: Finance

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport further to the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), what funds he expects to be available for churches of heritage value over the CSR period. (167171)

Allocations under the Comprehensive Spending Review to those bodies with responsibilities that include the heritage of places of worship have been notified to those bodies.

The Churches Conservation Trust, which cares for redundant Church of England churches of heritage value, will receive £3.1 million per year in 2008-9 to 2010-11, an increase of £100,000 per year.

We announced on 18 October that English Heritage's funding will be £124.7 million in 2008-09, £126.7 million in 2009-10, and £130.7 million in 2010-11, which will allow them to maintain grants at current levels and progress specified initiatives as outlined in the ‘inspired!’ campaign on historic places of worship.

The listed places of worship grant scheme, which makes grants equivalent to the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use for worship, will continue to operate until March 2011, unless a permanent reduced VAT rate for such repairs is agreed by the European Commission in the interim. Under this scheme, all eligible applications are met, and the funding made available will depend on the number of applications made.