Over £2 million of public funding has been spent on historic synagogues since 2004

Brighton's Middle Street Synagogue, one of the first beneficiaries of public grant aid  (Photo: Nigel Corrie   Copyright: English Heritage)

Brighton's Middle Street Synagogue, one of the first beneficiaries of public grant aid (Photo: Nigel Corrie Copyright: English Heritage)

Grant Opportunities

The Repair Grant Scheme for Listed  Places of Worship in England (RGPOW) was set up in 2004 and was jointly operated by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  In 2012 the Heritage Lottery Fund is taking over sole responsibility for the RGPOW budget  which now stands at £30 million. Applications are still made through English Heritage. The total Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) budget for this financial year (2012-13)  is £375 million, the biggest since the inception of the Lottery in 1994. Historic buildings and sites may apply for funding under other appropriate HLF funding programmes besides RGPOW that is specifically intended for urgent repairs usually at a high-level, to the roof, masonry, gutters or towers.



Annual Deadlines: Two application rounds for RGPOW are made per annum with a deadline of
30 June for buildings Listed at Grade I and Grade II* and 30 September for buildings Listed at Grade II. For further information and application forms visit the English Heritage RGPOW page. See also  the Heritage Lottery Fund website for other HLF schemes for which historic synagogues and cemeteries may be eligible.

In all cases, public funding requires a measure of matched funding from other sources. This can be as much as 50% or as little as 10% depending on circumstances. Before making an application for public grant aid, trustees of historic synagogues are strongly urged to clearly separate their building fund from other vital expenditure such as burial funds for funeral costs and cemetery maintenance and the salaries of paid officials. These funds should be ring-fenced in the synagogue accounts so that they will not be taken into consideration by the HLF when assessing the level of financial need. Jewish Heritage will be happy to advise potential applicants on a case-by-case basis.

The match funding requirement should not deter potential applicants. Even in the present difficult financial climate, other funding bodies and private foundations may be surprisingly willing to help. And do not forget to ask your own members and families that had connections with your synagogue - or whose ancestors are buried in your cemetery  - for support in fundraising efforts.

Major foundations that have aided historic synagogues and cemeteries include:

World Monuments Fund - Jewish Heritage Program
Annual bid round

Rothschild Foundation Europe  - Jewish Heritage Programme
Two bid rounds annually: March and September. A two stage application process has now been instituted with deadlines for Stage I in February and August.

The Wolfson Foundation - Historic Buildings and Landscapes
Two Stage application process. Deadlines of 20th January and 20th July for Stage I applications

Two useful fund finder websites targeting the historic buildings sector are:
The Heritage Alliance
Architectural Heritage Foundation Funds For Historic Buildings


Please contact Jewish Heritage if you need further advice on fundraising.