As a public body that provides grant funding, we are required under the Subsidy Control Act 2022 transparency requirements, to publish details concerning individual awards which may be considered to be subsidies.
The Subsidy Control Act 2022
The Subsidy Control Act 2022 (“the Act”), which came into force on 4 January 2023, aims to control the provision of subsidies and prevents unfair competition or effects on trade and investment.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has issued draft guidance on the operation of the Act. This guidance helps public authorities to award subsidies in a way which minimises any negative effects on competition and investment, as well as promoting the effective and efficient use of public money. These subsidies are permitted provided they satisfy the criteria set out in the Act.
Subsidies above a certain financial threshold (currently £100,000 (Jan 2023)) must be published on a database held by BEIS.
Applicants should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the new subsidy control regime when considering applying to Historic England for funding.
What is a subsidy?
There are four key characteristics that must all be present for funding to be classed as a subsidy:
- a financial contribution
- given by a public authority from public funds
- given to an ‘enterprise’ (an organisation or person engaged in economic activity), giving them an economic advantage that is not available on market terms
- affects or is capable of affecting competition or investment within the UK, or trade or investment between the UK and a country or territory outside of the UK
Where Historic England funding meets all four key characteristics, then the funding will be classed as a subsidy.
For a subsidy to be permitted it has to comply with seven common principles as set out on the guidance on the UK government website.
Organisations may set up ‘Subsidy Schemes’ which meet these seven common principles, such as the Historic England ‘Culture and Heritage Conservation and Repair Scheme’.
Culture and Heritage Conservation and Repair Scheme SC10703
Historic England gives grants towards the repair and conservation of listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered parks and gardens and conservation areas. This includes project development actions that enable repair or improved future management.
Our grants under this scheme are intended to reduce the risk faced by some of the most significant historic sites in England. We focus our grants on those sites which are most in need of repair and where, without our grant, a project would not be able to go ahead.
Our grants are primarily for urgent repairs or other work required to address risk by preventing loss of or damage to important architectural, archaeological or landscape features. The outcome of every project should be the protection of the significance of the site or to enable such protection to happen. We aim to secure a sustainable future for the historic environment.
Summary of the Subsidy Scheme
1. Legal Basis
- National Heritage Act 1983;
- Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953;
- Planning (Listed Buildings and Archaeological Areas) Act 1990;
- Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
We can only offer a grant if your project involves a certain type of historic property. To be eligible for a grant under this scheme, your project must involve one of the following:
- a building listed at Grade I or II*
- a building listed at Grade II and within a conservation area or a London borough
- a scheduled monument
- a park or garden registered at Grade I or II*
- an unlisted building of significant historic or architectural interest and within a conservation area or a London borough
- a park or garden registered at Grade II and within a conservation area or a London borough
3. Works we fund
The type of work we can fund includes:
- repair works to eligible properties
- project development
- works to sites with buried remains
- acquisitions of eligible properties (where evidence is provided that a change in ownership is required for the protection of the site)
- schemes of works to scheduled monuments
4. Works we do not fund
The type of work we do not fund includes:
- any work carried out, whether paid for or not, prior to our making a written grant offer and your accepting it
- any work resulting from an event which would normally be insurable
- alterations and improvements unless essential to protect historic fabric and/or where there is a structural need
- demolition or removal unless essential to protect historic fabric and/or where there is a structural need
- reinstatement and reconstruction unless essential to protect historic fabric and/or where there is a structural need
- any work not based on an adequate understanding of the site