Restoration Funding

There are various sources of funding which can help with the restoration and redevelopment of historic buildings, depending on the type of organisation, intended re-use and current project development stage. Generally, there are more funding opportunities supporting not-for-profit organisations than private or commercial projects. This section sets out some potential options worth exploring when looking to restore a historic building. Although several sources focus on not-for-profit organisations, other types of projects may be supported. Do explore these in more detail as your project may still fit the priorities of funders.

Each funder has their own eligibility criteria and guidance on the costs they will and will not support. These criteria should be considered carefully before making any application. Example eligibility criteria might include type of building, overall cost of the project, intended use of the building (community, business or social) etc. It should be noted that inclusion of a property on the Buildings at Risk Register does not imply that it will be automatically eligible for grant aid.


The Architectural Heritage Fund can provide grants and loans, subject to eligibility, to help with assessing the viability of a project, or to help fund development costs, for historic building related regeneration projects based across Scotland. More information on the Scottish grants programme can be found at;


Scottish Land Fund supports rural and urban communities to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and assets -
UK Community Ownership Fund, this UK Government fund supports community groups to take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of being lost -
Community Shares Scotland, the community share model is where community members can buy shares in enterprises providing goods and services that meet their needs -
A successful community right to buy scheme for a vacant historic church building in Portobello, Edinburgh can be seen in this short film. and further support on community ownership can be found through the Community Ownership Support Service.


Historic Environment Scotland offer a number of grants to support and conserve the Historic Environment - these include;
Partnership Fund. Designed to support a relatively small number of organisations, normally for established activities closely aligned with HES strategic priorities.
Heritage & Place Programme (Replaces Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2022) An area-based funding programme that aims to contribute to the development of vibrant and sustainable places in Scotland, through community-led regeneration of the historic environment, prioritising conservation areas.
Historic Environment Repair Grant Grants to support the cost of conservation standard repair projects for buildings, places of worship or ancient monuments which are of special architectural, historic or archaeological interest. The programme will also include an interim works grant award for at-risk heritage assets.
Historic Environment Support Fund A small fund used to provide support for one-off heritage events, small projects and training activities.
Historic Environment Grants (launching late 2022) For one-off projects involving repairs, training, outreach and other activities relating to the historic environment.
For further information please contact our grants team on

National Lottery Heritage Fund (Heritage Fund) can help regenerate, repair, and transform historic buildings - and
City Heritage Trust Fund. HES also fund City Heritage Trusts to run grant schemes on our behalf. Along with a variety of grant programmes, they also offer advice, guidance, education and training. These operate in the following cities.

Edinburgh World Heritage operates a grants scheme that concentrates on the city’s World Heritage Site.
Perth and Kinross

Local councils can often work in partnership with voluntary and charitable organisations to access funding opportunities for agreed project activity, some example funds are given below on where councils might be able to work in partnership:
Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF)
Place Based Investment Programme (PBIP)
Community Led Local Development (CLLD)
Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP)
Levelling Up Fund (LUF)
UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
Islands Programme (IP)
City Region or Growth Deal Investment.

Charitable Trusts, Foundations and other grant funders – there are a wide range of charitable trusts and foundations which might also help fund works to historic buildings, or support new types of use for a historic building. Many of these are aimed at charities and organisations. Some brief examples are given below:

The Wolfson Foundation
The National Lottery Community Fund
SportScotland - Sport Facilities Fund
Garfield Weston Foundation
NESTA Arts and Culture Impact Fund
Scottish Landfill Communities Fund
Crown Estate Scotland - Community Capacity Grants
The Pilgrim Trust
Charles Hayward Foundation
Barcapel Foundation
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation - Social Investment
The Dalrymple Donaldson Fund
The Association for Industrial Archaeology
Fife Environment Trust
William Grant Foundation

Funds linked to places of worship including:
Benefact Trust
Listed Places of Worship Scheme
Baird Trust
National Churches Trust
Plunkett - Church Community Business Scheme.

The list of funding sources above is not intended to be exhaustive, and there can be local sources of funding and different finance options (such as commercial finance, refurbishment mortgages, etc) depending on the type of project. Using a funding directory such as or, can help in reviewing a large number of grant funding sources.


Building Preservation Trusts (BPT) are charitable bodies that acquire and restore historic buildings which are then either sold or rented to provide ‘revolving’ funding for the next project. Sourcing funding as charitable bodies, many specialise on ‘at risk’ buildings with ‘conservation deficits’. Well known trusts include the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Fife Historic Buildings Trust and the North East of Scotland Preservation Trust (See links page) . There are a number of active BPTs in Scotland with many on the Heritage Trust Network at; and; Heritage Trust Network supports a wide range of heritage projects undertaken by building preservation trusts, community trusts and social enterprises. The Network offers practical advice and support on establishing a BPT, and undertaking a building restoration programme through a network of peer to peer support. The Scottish Branch contacts are Lorraine Bell at and Sarah Pearce at .

Example refurbishment case studies and project case studies can be useful reading in advance of the repair and upgrade of historic buildings.


As noted above there are more grant-aid schemes designed to support community or charitable endeavors than private ones. Using the funding directories Funding Scotland or Heritage Funding Directory, may help to identify suitable sources of funding for private projects. We also suggest not limiting yourself to heritage-funding schemes. There may be other sources of support, such as installing energy efficiency measures or investigating the reduced rate VAT on new work, property conversions and reuse of long-term empty buildings.

The previously noted refurbishment case studies and project case studies can be useful for all owners in advance of the repair and upgrade of historic buildings. Historic Environment Scotland also have a series of case studies on upgrading historic buildings for energy efficiency and to reduce heat loss and a general guide to retrofitting energy improvements