The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) provides grants and low-cost loans for the conservation of scheduled or listed buildings, or those in conservation areas. Buildings have to be of acknowledged historical merit and projects must involve the change of either ownership or use. The AHF has announced the following changes to its funding from 1 April 2011:
- The interest rate for working capital loans will be 5% simple per annum and acquisition loans will be at 7 % simple per annum. The AHF states on its website that: they make no arrangement fees; do not demand up-front interest payments; do not levy penalties for early repayment; and will pay up to £2,000 of their own legal fees when contracting a loan
- The usual loan period will be extended from two years to three and in particular cases, up to five years. This is due to projects taking longer to complete
- Refundable Project Development Grants have been replaced by Development Loans. This scheme will be piloted for two years. This, and other AHF loans, are available to registered charities with an eligible project i.e. the building must be either listed or in a conservation area and involve a change of ownership or use. The maximum Development Loan amount will be £50,000 with interest charged at 2.5% simple, payable at the end of the term (up to 18 months).
For more information on these changes, and the full range of loans and grants available through the AHF, see their website via the link below.