How to apply for a Townscape Heritage Initiative Grant

Before you apply

Please read this Advice Note and The Guide to Eligible Works before making an application.

Contact the THI Officer

Telephone 01274 437495 or 01535 618095 for an initial discussion and site visit. The THI Officer will explain all aspects of the project including what is eligible for a grant, how the scheme works and when work can proceed on your building.

Specify the works

Specify the works - When you are ready to proceed, an Architect or Surveyor needs to prepare a specification and drawings for the work if the grant value will be above £32,800. All work must respect the character of the building and the Conservation Area. The THI Officer will advise on appropriate materials, repair techniques, architectural detailing, etc, and whether planning approvals are required. Conservation guidance publications which identify good practice are available from Bradford Council.

Contractors and Consultants

The THI Officer needs to approve all consultants, contractors and sub-contractors before they quote for the work, to make sure that are competent at working on historic buildings. The THI Officer can suggest some local contractors and consultants.

General requirements

  • The grant process, including preparing the work specification, tendering and applying legal charges to the property, can take several weeks along with planning consents which take 8 weeks. You need to allow plenty of time before work starts on site.
  • You will not receive grant funding if you start work before you have entered into a grant contract with Bradford Council.
  • You must accept the grant within three months of it being offered and start work within six months of the offer unless the THI Officer agrees otherwise in writing.
  • You must complete the works within a time period agreed in advance with Bradford Council, unless we agree in writing to extend this period.

Sustainability

The following sustainability measures should be specified by the Architect:

  • Achieve energy efficiency measures to standards required by Building Regulations, taking into account the historic significance and performance of the building.
  • Use traditional products and building materials.
  • Source local products (such as stone).
  • Specify products with low embodied energy (minimal energy required to produce, and minimal transportation to site).
  • All timber must come from proven legal and sustainable sources.
  • Paints, varnishes or other finishes to be natural oil or water based.
  • Aim to ensure 10% of the material content comes from a recycled source (not including second hand building materials).
  • Incorporate re-used materials from your existing building (including re-using slates when re-roofing, and refurbishing windows rather than replacing).

If you have any difficulties in complying with these requirements, please discuss them with the THI Officer.

Application form guidance

The grant application process is in two stages:

  • The Stage 1 application form gives initial details which allow you to progress with the grant application
  • The Stage 2 application form provides us with detailed information which allows us to calculate the grant that will be offered subject to approval

Grant application form – Stage 1

Please read this section as you complete the application form

Address

Please give the address of the building where the grant will be allocated. If the building comprises of several shop units you can submit one application if all of the works will be carried out under one contract.

Brief description of the project

Please briefly describe the proposed work (e.g. shop front and window restoration).

Full name, address and contact details of the applicant

Please give details of the individual making the application. If the application is being made by an organisation, please give the organisation’s address, and contact details of the individual responsible for making the application.

Type of applicant

Please describe the legal status of the organisation or individual making the application. Where applicable please supply company or charity registration numbers. If more than one category applies please explain why.

Ownership interest in the property

To apply for a grant you must own the freehold of the property or hold a lease on it with an unexpired term of at least 10 years without a break clause. If the property is held on a lease for less than 10 years or if it contains a break clause which may terminate the lease within 10 years, the landlord must join in the grant application and agree to be bound by the grant conditions if a grant is awarded.

You must attach details of your interest in the property, provide proof of ownership and/or possession of the property and identify any encumbrances.

If you do not own the property please attach evidence from the owner that they give you permission to undertake this grant funded project to the building. If you are a private company, sole trader or charity, you must also supply a copy of:

  • Your most recently audited accounts
  • Articles of association or memorandum of agreement
Type of property and designation

Briefly describe the property (e.g. mid-terraced 3 storey building with shop on ground floor and flats above). State whether the building is listed.

Existing and proposed use of the property

Please state the uses in all areas of the building, stating which areas are vacant (e.g. existing use: vacant shop, proposed use: shoe shop). Please attach details of how you plan to ensure that vacant floor space within the building will be let for a sustainable use. If the vacant floor space is residential the THI Officer may be able to give guidance on empty homes incentives and advice available.

Which type of grant are you applying for?

The THI Officer can give you advice on this section.

Repair and reinstatement grants

These include external repairs to the building including roofs, stonework, windows and gutters; and the reinstatement of historic features such as shop fronts and windows. All grant eligible works are detailed in Advice Note 2.

Bringing vacant floor space into use

This involves the refurbishment of vacant buildings for re-use, including unused upper floors above shops. Grant funding is available for internal and external works. All grant eligible works are detailed in Advice Note 2.

Other lottery funding

If you have made a successful bid to the National Lottery for any other grant or loan towards this project, you may not be eligible for a THI grant.

Other grants and funding

If you have had any grant offers, awards or loans for the building from other sources, you must attach copies of any relevant letters. These should indicate the amount and any conditions attached to the offers.

Stage 1 checklist

The application form must be completed and returned with additional information about the proposed works. A check list for these items is included. Not all information on the checklist is required for every application; this depends on the status of the applicant and type of grant being applied for.

Declaration

The grant applicant must sign the declaration.

If the property is held on a lease for less than 10 years or if it contains a break clause which may terminate the lease within 10 years, the landlord must join in the grant application and sign the declaration, agreeing to be bound by the grant conditions if a grant is awarded.

If the applicant is a Company, Charitable Trusts, Community organisations, etc, a representative of the organisation must sign the declaration.

Grant application form – Stage 2

Please read this section as you complete the application form.

Address

Please give the address of the building where the grant will be allocated. If the building comprises of several shop units you can submit one application if all of the works will be carried out under one contract.

Full name of the applicant

Please give details of the individual making the application. If the application is being made by an organisation, please give the organisation’s name, and contact details of the individual responsible for making the application.

Professional advisors

You must appoint an appropriately experienced and qualified Architect or Surveyor to plan and oversee the works to completion if the grant contribution is likely to be over £32,800. If the eligible project costs are likely to be over £100,000 three quotes must be obtained. Architects must be RIBA registered, and Surveyors must be RICS registered.

We can suggest professional advisors, or if you nominate advisors the THI Officer must approve them to ensure that they are suitably qualified and familiar with conservation work.

Whichever professional advisor you use, you must check that they are financially viable and capable of running your project.

Statutory consents

If the proposed works require any statutory consents (such as Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent, Advertisement Consent or Building Regulation Consent), copies of the relevant notifications must be attached. Please give reference numbers and brief descriptions on the application form.

Note: The THI Officer can give advice on whether consents are required and how to apply. Some of these consents can take 8 weeks to process. The professional advisor will apply for consents and the THI Officer can advise on historic detailing.

Which type of grant are you applying for?

The THI Officer can give you advice on this section.

Repair and reinstatement grants

These include external repairs to the building including roofs, stonework, windows and gutters; and the reinstatement of historic features such as shop fronts and windows. All eligible works are detailed in Advice Note 2.

Bringing vacant floor space into use

This involves the refurbishment of vacant buildings for re-use, including unused upper floors above shops. Works include internal and external repairs. Eligible works are detailed in Advice Note 2 and explained below:

  • You must supply a development appraisal. This forms the financial basis for calculating grants towards the ‘conservation deficit’ of a project – that is the difference between the cost of repair / conversion and the estimated market value of the property when the works have been completed. It sets out the estimated costs of undertaking the works, including the costs of letting or selling the completed development and the estimated value of the development on completion. The figures will be recalculated on completion of the project using actual costs to determine whether any repayment (or clawback) of grant is due to Bradford Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • The conservation deficit should be worked out on the basis of a ‘residual valuation’. Valuations must be carried out by an independent, appropriately qualified professional valuation surveyor.
  • Your development appraisal may be checked by the District Valuer who will confirm whether or not he agrees with the calculation of the funding deficit. He aims to safeguard public funding to use it to best advantage.
  • If the costs worked out in the conservation deficit calculation are greater than the expected value of the property on completion of the works, there is a funding deficit. The THI grant can contribute towards bridging this funding gap. The maximum amount of THI grant available will be dependent on the nature of the proposed eligible works, and up to a maximum sum. The THI Officer can advise further.

The development appraisal

The following costs (where applicable) should be used to work out the conservation deficit:

  • Current value
  • Eligible development costs, including construction costs, preliminaries and planning fees (see Advice Note 2 for eligible works)
  • Architect’s fees
  • VAT
  • Letting / sales fees
  • Loan financing fees (initial fee, not interest on the loan)
  • Developer’s profit (for the private sector) or management fees (for the charitable sector). Private owners and developers may include an allowance for a reasonable ‘developer profit’ on their own investment. Organisations such as Building Preservation Trusts and other charitable developers may include a similar management fee.
  • Estimated end value of the property
Detailed cost breakdown

This section needs to broadly cover the information in the schedule of works. This helps us to categorise the grant. For example:

Item Cost VAT
Window repairs £3,000 £600
Window replacements £5,000 £1,000
New shop front £20,000 £4,000

A percentage of the preliminaries (scaffolding, setting up, etc) for eligible works can be grant funded, along with professional advisor fees and statutory consent fees (Building Regulations, Planning Permission, Advertisement Consent). Advice Note 2 details eligible works.

In addition to the cost breakdown, please also attach full details of the proposed works. Details must include:

  • Location plan
  • A full specification and schedule of works, which must include details of materials and a method statement
  • Drawings where required – Relevant plans, elevations and cross sections at an appropriate scale
  • Photographs of elevations and architectural details
  • Work programme giving timescales

The THI Officer can help you to gather this information, and will check that the specifications are correct for historic building repairs. Drawings are only required for certain works, which you can discuss with the THI Officer.

VAT recovery

In many cases VAT may be recoverable. VAT that is recoverable is not eligible for grant funding.
Details of exemptions for conversion works are available in VAT Notice 708 from HM Revenue & Customs. Other VAT notices give advice on different exemptions, so you are advised to either contact HMRC to discuss the project or employ a VAT advisor.

Other work

Some works may be ineligible for a THI grant, such as internal works to a building in use or internal fit out for a new use (such as shop fitting). In these cases the application only relates to part of a project. Eligible works are identified in Advice Note 2. This information enables us to keep track of the impact of the Townscape Heritage Initiative on the area.

Total project cost

The total project cost includes both eligible and ineligible works.

Programme

Please state the estimated start and completion dates for the works if you can. Work must start on site within six months of the grant offer. You must complete the works within a time period agreed in advance with the THI Officer, unless they agree in writing to extend this period. All statutory consents must be in place, and all required information provided, before work starts.
The THI Officer can discuss timescales with you if there are likely to be any delays before the grant is offered.

Training

If known, please identify any training that will be carried out during the project. This is also requested on the Contractor Reference Form so the information will also be gathered from the contractors. Training includes visits by groups of students, and apprentices working on the project.

Vacant floor space improvements

We ask for information on how buildings will be improved so that we can measure how well the THI scheme has improved the area over its lifespan.

Checklist

The application form must be completed and returned with a large amount of additional detailed information about the proposed works. A check list for these items is included. In most cases not all additional information will be required, depending on the type of grant applied for and the value and extent of the work.

The following documents are required in addition to the application form in all cases:

  • Three written quotations, based on clear written specifications are required for eligible works with a value of less than £10,000.
  • Three competitive tenders are required for all eligible work worth more than £10,000. You must supply a copy of the summary sheet for all tenders received and a full copy of the successful tender.
  • Before going out to tender, completed Contractor Reference Forms (for the main and sub contractors) should be submitted to the THI Officer for approval. You should only invite tenders from contractors with a reputation for achieving the standards required and that can demonstrate their experience of working on conservation projects. The THI Officer must approve them before you ask them to tender for the works. The professional advisor needs to check that the contractors are financially viable and have the capacity to carry out the work.
  • If you want to accept a tender other than the lowest tender, you must provide a written justification when submitting your application. If Bradford Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund do not agree with your reasons, any grant awarded will be reduced by a percentage which reflects the difference between the lowest acceptable tender and the one you accept.
Declaration

The grant applicant must sign the declaration.

If the property is held on a lease for less than 10 years or if it contains a break clause which may terminate the lease within 10 years, the landlord must join in the grant application and sign the declaration, agreeing to be bound by the grant conditions if a grant is awarded.

If the applicant is a Company, Charitable Trusts, Community organisations, etc, a representative of the organisation must sign the declaration.

Completing the application form

Please contact us if you need assistance to complete the application form.

Please note: Incomplete applications will not be processed until all the information is supplied.

What happens next?

The Keighley THI Partnership Board will consider all applications for grant funding against the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the building improvements will enhance the conservation area.
  • The need for repair.
  • The use of appropriate materials and techniques, in line with national conservation standards.
  • The implementation of a comprehensive maintenance plan to ensure the long term life of the building.
  • Whether the proposals fully meet the criteria set out in Advice Note 2: Guide to Eligible Works and where appropriate, the criteria of other funding bodies.

Grant application process

  1. Interest in a grant 
  2. Initial discussion with THI Officer to discuss the project, eligible works and options 
  3. Applicant completes the Stage 1 application form, submitting the required information (permission from the owner, articles of association, etc) 
  4. Land registry check is carried out 
  5. Applicant contacts consultants to manage the work (Chartered Architects or Surveyors). They must be either RIBA or RICS registered. Consultants submit a consultant reference
    form for the THI Officer to approve, along with professional indemnity insurance 
    • For grants below £25,000: one consultant quote required 
    • For grants above £25,000: at least three consultant quotes required
  6. Applicant sends a brief to the consultants. When the quotes are returned, compare them and select a consultant 
  7. Meeting between the grant applicant, consultant and THI Officer to agree the works 
  8. Consultant prepares the design for planning consents; grant applicant and THI Officer agree it 
  9. Apply for Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent and Advertisement Consent (as applicable), 8 weeks 
  10. Consultant prepares schedule of works and package for tender to contractors 
    • Grant eligible works below £10,000: three quotes required 
    • Grant eligible works above £10,000: four competitive tenders required
  11. Contractors to submit a Contractor reference form for the THI Officer to approve. Consultant must check their insurance, track record and suitability, etc 
  12. Consultant send tender package out to contractors 
  13. Quotes or tenders returned. Applicant, consultant and THI Officer meet to open them 
  14. Consultant prepares a tender report and a contractor is chosen 
  15. Applicant to obtain independent valuations on the building: current value and estimated value on completion of the work 
    • Repair / reinstatement grant: THI Officer works out the grant figure based on 70% and 75% 
    • Vacant floor space grant: Consultant prepares a development appraisal to work out the grant figure
  16. Applicant completes Stage 2 application form 
  17. Approval of grant by THI Partnership Board 
  18. Approval of grant by Keighley Area Committee 
  19. For grants above £200,000 approval by the Heritage lottery Fund 
  20. Legal charge put in place where appropriate 
  21. Grant applicant proves that they have the funding in place 
  22. Applicant provides evidence of all insurances, including building (joint between contractor and owner) and contractor’s Public Liability Insurance 
  23. Programme of works, cashflow and grant payment schedule produced 
  24. Grant offer letter sent to applicant 
  25. Applicant completes BACS form 
  26. When conditions are met the THI grant contract can be signed 
  27. Works contract signed between applicant and contractor, and all other conditions met before work starts on site 
  28. Work starts on site 
  29. Inspections, valuations and grant claims. 10% of grant withheld until completion 
  30. Completion on site, final 10% of grant paid

Contact details

Landscape, Design & Conservation Team
4th Floor Britannia House
Hall Ings
Bradford
BD1 1HX

Phone : 01274 434551
Email : conservation@bradford.gov.uk

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