Lottery money to address urgent repairs to Scotland’s historic places of worship

Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced £83,700 of Lottery funding to help secure the future of one of Scotland’s historic places of worship, Anstruther Parish Church.

The well-loved church is amongst the first 35 churches across the UK to be awarded a grant through HLF’s new Grants for Places of Worship programme. This vital money is helping congregations address a back log of urgent repairs to listed churches and chapels at risk across Scotland.

Launched in March, it supercedes the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme. In addition to providing money for urgent repairs, the programme is now also funding new works that support and encourage greater community use and engagement, helping to increase the number of people who take an active interest in these historic buildings and who will care for them in the future. As well as much needed conservation work, today’s grants will support the provision of new toilets and kitchens; create historical exhibitions, leaflets and guide books; commission skills training for volunteer tour guides; and develop digital marketing tools including websites and web-based tools such as apps.

Colin McLean, Head of HLF Scotland, said; “There is a place of worship in almost every village and town across Scotland, providing a very powerful visual connection with our past. Not only will this award secure the immediate future of this particular building, it will also empower the congregation to adapt it, where necessary, so it can be enjoyed more widely throughout the community and in turn enable it to be more sustainable for the future.”

Martin Fairley, Historic Scotland’s Head of Investment, said: “Anstruther Parish Church has been a focal point for the town over the centuries. This funding will ensure it continues to play its part at the heart of the community for many years to come. We are also delighted to see the church benefitting from the new funding criteria which will see it emerge with a renewed community focus by providing much needed facilities to encourage greater local engagement with this historic building.”

Grants for Places of Worship announced today include:

Anstruther Parish Church, Anstruther
A grant of £83,700 has been awarded to Anstruther Parish Church. Built in 1634 with later additions, Anstruther Parish Church is a Category A listed building situated at the heart of Anstruther village. This grant will enable a programme of urgent repairs to the church tower and walls, which are suffering from water ingress. Repointing will replace historic cement-based repair work that is now damaging the building. The parapet walkway will also be repaired along with the clock facings and fittings. Internally decaying structural timbers will be repaired, a stone spiral stair will be repointed and a handrail added to provide safer access.

The building is already used widely by the local community with coffee mornings, craft classes and schools recitals; however there are plans to use the buildings as a performance venue for the East Neuk Festival and to provide lunches for people travelling the Fife Costal walk.

The work to secure the future of the church complements the Heritage Lottery funded Townscape Heritage Initiative in Anstruther which is transforming key historic buildings in the town centre.

Further information

HLF Press Office: Natasha Hughes on 020 7591 6143, out of office hours mobile: 07973 613 820.

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