Tools and Resources
Useful regeneration links and resources
Business Planning Toolkit
In partnership with the Princes Regeneration Trust, The Churches Conservation Trust's Regeneration Taskforce have developed a toolkit aimed at volunteer and community groups seeking to bring new life to heritage buildings.
The toolkit focusses on a crucial part of the process for achieving funding and ensuring long-term project sustainability - the development of a well-structured business plan. It is intended to be accessible to all, especially those who have never looked at a business plan, let alone tried to put one together.
Written in sections to allow each part to be attempted one at a time, it is illustrated with helpful hints, quotes and case studies from other community groups who have gone through the process before.Business Plan Toolkit
We have put together hHif you are considering developing a regeneration project for a building like this. If you know of something helpful which we have not included here, please get in touch and let us know, and we'll add it to the list.
- Arthur Rank Centre - support for rural churches and communities. Website has good section on "getting the most from your buildings", which includes advice and links on how buildings can become valuable tools for mission and meeting pastoral need alongside wider use of the building by the community
- Churchcare - the Church of England's key website for guidance and advice on adapting your church building, with inspiring case studies of churches which have done it already across the country
- Church Commissioners - their Closed Churches team have available information on the legal side of what happens when a church is closed and statistics on those that have closed and been put into new uses over the years.
- Church of England Parish Resources provided by the CofE's National Stewardship & Resources team. Offers over 400 pages of resources (web & pdf) to support all aspects of stewardship, administration and management
- Churches Trust for Cumbria - their Churches in the Community section of their website gives examples of ways in which churches in Cumbria have adapted to wider community use
- Diocese of Coventry - their Divine Inspiration project has useful tips and a toolkit on keeping churches open and making them relevant to the wider community, as well as experience of working closely with churches who are considering alternative uses, other than worship, for their building
- Diocese of Hereford - their Community Partnership and Funding team have some useful guidance, toolkits and example case studies of churches that have made adaptations in Herefordshire.
- Diocese of Lincoln - their Historic Churches Resource Pack has good accessible advice on a range of adaptation matters, including acquiring Faculty permissions, installing amenities and applying for funding
- Diocese of London - their "Knowledgebase" for Church Buildings has a huge range of detailed and helpful guidance notes on everything from heating to pew removal and acoustics to trees.
- Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich - their Church Buildings section has examples of community use projects that have been developed in Suffolk, and pointers about how to open churches up to wider use
- Diocese of Worcester - their Heritage Buildings and Community Development section has useful guidance about work being undertaken in Worcestershire to adapt and sustain church buildings in the wider community
- Shrinking the Footprint - CofE's website for green initiatives, includes advice and case studies of projects which aim to reduce their carbon footprints, tools for calculating this and mini-energy audits
Community ownership and enterprise
- Development Trusts Association - leading network of community enterprise practitioners dedicated to helping people set up not-for-personal-profit' trusts which re-invest surplus back into their communities
- New Forest Community Facility Toolkit - toolkit that looks at the use and viability of community buildings, and helps communities plan for new and updating projects for their facilities
- Plunkett Foundation - promotes and supports co-operatives and social enterprises in rural communities
- Resource Centre - "practical tools for community empowerment" - or straightforward, useful information to help people run community and voluntary groups, lots of how-to's on running a group and activities, including managing and raising money
- Village SOS - Big Lottery-funded initative with advice and case studies to inspire people to start community businesses that will breathe new life into their areas and create jobs
Grantmakers and fundraising
- Architectural Heritage Fund - a national revolving fund for the preservation of historic buildings. Loans, feasibility study grants and project administration grants are available within the organisations criteria. They also publish a database of funders.
- Church of England Parish Resources provided by the CofE's National Stewardship & Resources team includes large section on fundraising
- Divine Inspiration - Diocese of Coventry's website for opening up your church building has a toolkit which includes tips on fundraising and sources of funding for church projects
- Funding Central - free website for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, listing thousands of funding and finance opportunities
- Heritage Alliance - maintain a Heritage Funding Directory, a free, easy to use guide to potential sources of support, financial and otherwise, for anyone seeking to undertake projects related to the heritage of the United Kingdom
- Heritage Lottery Fund - major grantmaker which distrbutes money from the National Lottery to sustain and transform national heritage. Several grant programmes covering everything from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions.
- National Churches Trust - national, non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting places of worship used by Christian denominations throughout the UK
- Shrinking the Footprint - CofE's website for green initiatives, lists funders supporting projects with energy efficient elements
Heritage craft skills training
- National Heritage Training Group - voluntary organisation responsible for co-ordinating the ongoing development and delivery of traditional building crafts training and qualifications in the heritage sector of the UK. Lots of useful resources, links and contacts for incorporating built heritage training skills into your regeneration project and for finding and promoting training opportunities in your area.
Interpretation and welcome guides
- Divine Inspiration - Diocese of Coventry's website for opening up your church building has a toolkit which includes practical tips welcoming visitors, including interpreting your building for visitors and producing good visitor guides
- Diocese of Lincoln - their Historic Churches Resource Pack includes advice about opening and interpreting your church, carrying out visitor surveys and planning for events and activities
Production of documentation
- Churchcare - the Church of England's key website for guidance and advice on adapting your church building, includes guidance on how to prepare Statements of Significance and Statements of Need and Conservation Management Plans
- Church Build - website written by an architect with advice on how to write Statements of Significance and Statements of Need
- Divine Inspiration - Diocese of Coventry's website for opening up your church building has a toolkit which includes practical tips on writing good Statements of Significance
- Diocese of Lincoln - their Historic Churches Resource Pack has good accessible advice compiling documentation, including Statements of Need, Statements of Significance and HLF applications for funding.
- Diocese of London - their "Knowledgebase for church buildings contains advice on how to compile documentation for Statements of Significance, replacing and reordering seating, and planning approvals within the church system
- English Heritage - their "Conservation Principles, Policies & Guidance" document explains what is meant by assessing different types of “significance” and “value” in preparing proposals for change. You can download the pdf at the right hand side of the page
- Statements of Significance - an interactive "statement builder" website developed by the University of York with Historic England, to enable congregations to write their own statements. Very good site with prompts to help in compiling information
Regeneration of heritage assets
- English Heritage Caring for Places of Worship - guidance, short films and case studies specific to the church sector and sustainably caring for places of worship of all denominations
- Princes Regeneration Trust - undertakes the rescue and regeneration of redundant buildings of historic and architectural importance for the benefit of communities
Websites, social media, heritage blogs
- Good church websites has advice on what makes a good church website, a little dated but a fair place to start
- New Life for Old Buildings - inspiring stories about finding new uses for historic buildings, blogged by the Architectural Heritage Foundation
- SPAB Maintenance Co-operatives Project - SPAB's blog about it's ground-breaking initiative to connect, encourage and support the army of volunteers across the country who are largely responsible for the up-keep of some of our most beautiful and significant local landmarks