Religious charities intending to make repairs to listed places of worship should do so before the end of March 2011 to benefit from a VAT rebate, according to specialist charity accountancy firm Sheen Stickland. The firm says there is no evidence that the existing rebate scheme will be extended and that future repairs might therefore cost 20 per cent more.
Two guides to community share issues have been released by a coalition of organisations that provide local enterprise support, including Co-operatives UK and the Development Trusts Association. Community Shares: A Practitioner's Guide and Investing in Community Shares are available from www.communityshares.org.uk/resources.
A £1.6m grants programme to support social enterprises that tackle homelessness was launched last week by Big Issue Invest and training and regeneration body The Trees Group. The programme, Spark Challenge, is backed by the Communities and Local Government department. Applications for grants must be made by 13 August at www.sparkchallenge.org.uk.