Churches benefit from repair fund

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan.

Two local churches have benefited from funding under the UK-wide Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

Portglenone Parish Church was awarded £36,300, while West Presbyterian Church, Ballymena, received £34,400 from the fund, which is administered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

The worship grant scheme is now open for a further round of applications to share in £25 million next year.

Organisations, trusts and congregations of all faiths and denominations can apply for a grant from £10,000 to £100,000 to meet the costs of urgent repairs to roofs and rainwater disposal systems.

Limited funding can also be provided for structural investigations, specialist reports and bat surveys.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has welcomed the announcement of the re-opening of the Worship Roof Repair Fund.

“This scheme continues to provide valuable funding for essential works to our listed places of worship,” Mr Durkan said.

He added: “The extension of the fund provides a further opportunity for new bidders and also those who have been unsuccessful in the initial round to apply for support.

“I urge those with these valuable buildings in their care to make an application for the scheme which is open now.”