Six-figure boost for ‘warm and welcoming’ North East places of worship

Andrew Bowie MP

FETTERESSO Church is a big winner among North East churches handed a six-figure Christmas boost for renovations aimed at keeping places of worship open.

The UK Government’s Listed Places of Worship (LPW) scheme covers the VAT bill on substantial repairs, with applications open throughout the year.

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Local MP Andrew Bowie has highlighted the “year-round community and voluntary efforts” of churches as he celebrated a £34,738 boost to places of worship in his West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine constituency.

Fetteresso will receive more than £27,000 for repairs, while Mid Deeside Parish in Torphins will receive almost £5,000. Churches in Aboyne, St Cyrus, Kemnay, Inverbervie, and Laurencekirk have all successfully applied for smaller sums.

St Mary’s in Aberdeen gets almost £14,000 and St John’s in the city has been awarded more than £9,000 – a total of £123,686 for North East places of worship.

Scottish Conservative MP Mr Bowie said: “The festive period is a time when many people, rightly, look to their local place of worship as a focal point for the season.

“But the sort of community service they provide is kept up at all other times, with year-round community and voluntary efforts.

“Sadly, church buildings are often in need of major repair which can’t always be paid for out of their own coffers.

“So it’s brilliant that the UK LPW scheme is there to take some of the sting out of hefty repair bills, keeping these vital places of worship warm and welcoming for local people, at all times of year.”

The Scheme is run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and managed by East Midland Business Ltd. 

UK arts minister Lord Parkinson said:

“Listed places of worship represent some of our nation’s finest heritage, and HM Government recognises that there are particular challenges to looking after such cherished and historic buildings. 

“The grant scheme aims to redress financial shortfalls, and to support our listed and protected architecture for the benefit of present and future generations.”

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