If you’re thinking of renovating a property, you may be eligible to get a grant to help with the funding. Listed below are the different ways you can gain access to renovation grants.
Council or ‘Primary’ sourced grants
All local and district councils have budgets set aside for renovation grants. However, there are restrictions which differ from region to region and stipulations that need to be researched before beginning your renovation. Often you will have to be able to show some or all of the following:
• the property is seriously neglected.
• the repairs are critical.
• the residents are vulnerable.
• A grant will be absolutely necessary for the completion of the renovation
These grants are usually limited to £5,000 or £10,000 although in some regions in Northern Ireland the upper limit is £25,000.
Home improvement agencies or ‘Secondary’ Sources
Home improvement agencies (HIAs) are non-profit organisations run by local authorities, charities and housing associations. Grants can sometimes be made available to disabled, elderly or low income tenants or private owners to maintain, repair or adapt their homes. To see if there is an agency operating in your area, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) or ask your council. Charities are another way to secure funding, especially if the charities support a particular architectural style.
Renovating older properties increases your chances of getting a grant, but unfortunately also increases your forecasted costs too.
Organisations such as English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw (the Welsh Government historical environmental service), the Northern Irish Environment and Heritage Service, the Funds for Historic Buildings website (www.ffhb.org.uk) or the Republic of Ireland’s Office of Public Works all have grants available for the restoration of important buildings – however, they will want to make sure the work is done in a way they approve of.
Grants for ‘green’ household modifications have decreased in recent months but you can still apply for grants to install systems such as ground source heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbines. In Scotland there is a similar scheme: the Scottish Community and Household Renewables Initiative.
Instead of thinking that one grant will cover the costs of every aspect of your build, what’s more likely is that you will have to complete a host of different grant applications – some which will be successful, some which may fail. However, being knowledgeable about what funds are available can offer some serious help with the cost of your renovation project.