Grants of up to £350,000 available for charities to take on historic buildings

The money is being made available by the Architectural Heritage Fund for town centre projects reusing historic buildings

A building operated by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, which has been funded by the AHF
A building operated by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, which has been funded by the AHF

Charities and social enterprises are being urged to apply for grants of up to £350,000 to help take over historic buildings on high streets across England. 

The Architectural Heritage Fund is looking for town centre projects reusing historic buildings to receive funding as part of round two of its transformational grants project, which closes at 5pm on 7 April. 

In a statement, the funder said it was seeking “exceptional, community-led projects which will showcase how the reuse of historic buildings can revitalise and bring about positive change to high streets and town centres”. 

The grant application documents say the grant can fund the cost of building acquisition, repair and conservation work and associated fees, as well as work required to enable "meanwhile" use, such as pop-ups, or change of use, including services and fit-out. 

Ideally, the documents say, projects will be aiming for completion in three years or less and “must offer a creative and high-quality adaptation for new use of the building, while achieving exemplary conservation standards”. The projects must also have a positive impact on the local area, with the potential to be a catalyst for other schemes nearby.

The AHF said it planned to fund about 10 to 15 projects through the fund.

Charitable incorporated organisations, charitable companies, community benefit societies, not-for-profit private companies, community interest companies, cooperatives and parish and town councils are all eligible to apply. 

The funder said it expected most of the grants made to be between £100,000 and £200,000. 

The scheme is part of the AHF’s Transforming Places Through Heritage programme, which in turn is part of the Future High Streets Fund, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Transforming Places Through Heritage programme also includes other grant funds for areas such as project viability studies, capital project development and crowdfunding match funding for similar projects. 

Projects chosen for the transformational grants project will also be able to apply for up to £150,000 in development funding.

For more information, visit the AHF website here.

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