Beat the Budget!

By: Smith Of Derby  02/05/2012
Keywords: restored, tower clocks, Church Clock

Unexpected changes in the Chancellor's recent budget saw the removal of the zero VAT rate for alterations to listed buildings.


Previously, while repairs on listed buildings have always been subject to full rate VAT, if the work planned fitted the definition of an alteration, providing it had been granted listed building consent and neither deemed a repair or maintenance, it qualified for zero-rate VAT.

This change will cost the Church of England up to £20 million per annum on works to its 12,500 listed church buildings, assuming of course parishes and cathedrals can now afford to go ahead and undertake the works required.


This is a real blow to communities who are seeking to maintain and develop their churches (including improved lavatory, kitchen, disability and energy saving facilities) to enable churches to be more widely used by the community.

The 20 percent VAT charge will also negatively impact bell hanging and organ building, both traditional craft industries, where some schemes currently enjoy zero rating.

If your church or listed building is thinking of carrying out alterations then now is a good time to commence the work. For example, the measure affects the fitting of an autowind unit; placing an order before the 1 October deadline could save your Church up to £1000* (*£1000 average price saving subject to site survey, Faculty approval and our standard T & C’s).

The day after the Budget the Bishop of London and Second Church Estates Commissioner wrote to the Chancellor asking him to keep alterations to listed churches zero-rated.

The Church of England has created an e-petition calling on the Chancellor to bring back zero rate VAT to alterations to the C of E’s 12,500 listed churches. It follows the recent launch of a consultation by HM Revenue & Customs on VAT charging to approved alterations to listed buildings, which closes on 4 May 2012. The e-petition can be signed online now at:

Keywords: Church Bell Systems, Church Clock, Church Clock Maintenance, church clock restoration, church clock servicing, restored, tower clocks,