We received a signed copy of confirmation that our application for our Phase 3 restoration programme had been given the green light on 8th of April 2016.
I had announced at the APCM on the 4th April that I had received a phone call on the 15th of March and an email on the 17th of March. However the signed copy officially confirmed that months of preparation, perspiration and anticipation had finally secured a thumbs-up from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
What a relief after two unsuccessful applications, one to the HLF and one to the Listed Places of Worship scheme for a replacement North aisle roof.
I was invited by the Listed Places of Worship to apply for the roof grant again but advised against it as it would impact on our Phase 3 application which already included the North aisle roof replacement within it.
By awarding us a first- round pass HLF believe that our project has the potential to deliver high quality outcomes and value for Lottery money. It does not guarantee that we will receive a grant for our project. We will need to develop our project further and submit a fully worked up bid.
The first stage of our project is called the Development Phase. In this we have to develop our project in line with the proposals set out in our application.
The total costs of our project may change during this period and if there are any significant increases in our grant request at the second round, this may have an impact on HLF’s judgement of the value for money our project offers.
The second stage which, should we meet the first stage criteria, involves a submission by the 17th March 2017. If this deadline is not addressed our application would have lapsed and another first round application would have to be submitted. No pressure then !!!!
The second stage is called the Delivery Phase where we carry out our project.
The summary of our delivery phase project involves the following.
- Restore four of the six clerestory windows on the South side.
- Restore the three remaining South aisle windows.
- Restore the South porch entrance and roof.
- Install a hospitality facility adjacent to the South porch entrance.
- Replace the North aisle lower roof.
- Remove the middle and inner doors and replace the inner doors with electrically operated glass doors on both the South and North porch entrances.
- Provide disabled parking spaces on the land adjacent to the North side.
- Install a roof alarm.
- Install cycle stands publicizing our church as part of the Sefton Cycling Network.
- Evolve into a visitor centre displaying heritage and community features via the website, guidebooks and interactive mobile appliances.
I have no doubt that our presence on the At Risk Register and the danger of falling masonry from the clerestory windows had an influence on the decision to award us a first round pass.
However, considerable gratitude should be given to our Diocesan Buildings Advisor, Ian Simpson in assisting with the application.
Janet, Tim, Liz and all who completed the questioner survey had and will play a part in the future. The architect, Robin Wolley and the QS, Rob Twiss were also key in securing the award. A letter of support from our outgoing Archdeacon Ricky Panter was also vital.
We still have to fund raise. I have to apply to other grant bodies to supplement our grant.
Our grant percentage is 67% for our Development Phase and 66% for our Delivery Phase.
Our Development Phase grant is up to £19,700 towards the total works of £29,580
Our Delivery Phase grant is £225,700 towards total project costs of £341,973
As our approved project costs include non- cash contributions and volunteer time, HLF have calculated the percentage of cash that they will be contributing towards the project. This is known as the Payment Percentage. This figure is 76%.
St. Nicholas’ Church has to adapt and become much more flexible in order to secure public funding. Concerts, exhibitions, meetings, demonstrations and educational heritage trails are now to be ingratiated with public worship inside our Grade 2 listed building. The grant must and will be acknowledged to the press and media. The Development phase must commence before 17th September and let us all hope and pray that by St. Patrick’s day 2017 we are all clutching a four leafed clover as we commence on the next step of our journey.
Stephen Green – Chair of Restoration Sub-Committee – April 2016