The grant programme is available to owners of key properties identified for high quality repair, restoration and refurbishment within the defined THI area. The primary funding for this grant is drawn down from the HLF with partnership funding being sourced where available from DoE Planning NI, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Department for Social Development.
General Townscape Heritage Initiative Principles:
“All work must be undertaken with respect for the historic character and integrity of the building and of the area”
“All work must meet accepted standards of quality in terms of materials and workmanship appropriate to the circumstances”
Examples of eligible repairs may include;
• Structural consolidation
• Dry rot eradication & damp proofing
• Roofing repair including chimney stacks and concealed gutters
• Leadwork repair to weatherings
• Repair of rainwater goods
• Masonry repair, stone and brickwork
• Render repair / replacement of inappropriate coatings
• Windows, doors, joinery repair and refurbishment
• Cleaning of stone and brick for non-cosmetic reasons
Proposals should not involve the extension of a shop frontage across an independent means of access to upper floors. Priority will be given to schemes that seek to reinstate means of independent access to otherwise inaccessible upper floors above shops
Examples of Architectural Reinstatement may include;
• Masonry including sculpture, stucco and applied finishes
• Removal of external shutters to facilitate traditional shopfront reinstatement
• Joinery to historic patterns
• Metalwork including railings canopies and finials
• Reinstatement of natural slate roof coverings
• Reinstatement of chimney stacks & parapets to historic pattern
• Excludes conjectural works (no historic evidence available)
Since the objective is to bring vacant floorspace back into use, all aspects of the physical work of conversion will be eligible, including necessary alterations both internal and external. Internal work will often involve redecoration, but furnishings, and services beyond the basic provision of heat, light and power, are not eligible. Grants to bring floorspace into use must only be offered if the building is in sound repair, or will be made so through concurrent repair work.
Eligible works to return Vacant Floor Space to use may include;
• All aspects of physical works associated with the conversion including alterations
• Internal decorations
• Basic provision of services
• Building regulation requirements to facilitate re-use of floorspace
A development appraisal will be required to establish eligibility and will be assessed on the basis that a building of an appropriate quality can be achieved only by subsidy combined with the use of planning powers. The level of grant will be limited to additional costs, which arise directly from the planning and architectural requirements of development in a historic setting, when compared to the cost of comparable local development outside the conservation area.
Expenditure on fees for qualified professional advisers is eligible for grant provided they belong to one of the recognised institutions: normally Registered Architects (members of the RIBA/RIAI/RSUA) or Chartered Surveyors (members of the RICS) with an appropriate level of specialist conservation experience.
Full professional fees for architectural services are only eligible if the professional adviser inspects the work in progress and is responsible for its certification on completion.
The cost of archaeological work in accordance with relevant national and local planning policies is eligible, in the following cases:
• Recording and analysing historic buildings of early origin or complex evolution as a basis for devising repair or conversion works, and monitoring during those works.
• Archaeological assessment, evaluation, excavation and monitoring in connection with alteration, extension or new build projects.
• Publication of the results, if necessitated by works, which are themselves, eligible within the scheme.
Value Added Tax
VAT may be payable on eligible repair costs and fees, where VAT cannot be recovered, it is considered eligible for grant.
Guidance on VAT and listed buildings is contained in VAT Notice 708 Buildings and Construction (August 1997) available from the local VAT office.