Renfrewshire Council

Before you apply for a grant to repair a private historic building

Before you apply, research, consultants, professional advisors, contractors, guidance on repairs and maintenance of historic buildings, planning consents and building warrants, quotes for costs, owner and leaseholder details, other guidance on repairs and maintenance, your data.

Before you apply

Before you apply for the grant, you should contact us at an early stage to discuss your ideas for the property. You should have a clear idea of the extent of works and the potential cost, either from estimates or professional advice. 

We can give you guidance on eligibility, what supporting information you need, and how long it will take to process your grant application. We may also visit your property to discuss your proposals for repairs.

Email us with any questions you have at

When you are ready to apply, make sure you have:

  • at least 1 quote for each type of professional advice or work in your plan, but you should aim to have up to 3 quotes
  • ownership or leaseholder information of the property.

You may also need to get:

  • scaled drawings
  • planning or building consent 
  • listed building consent
  • conservation area consent

You cannot save your application and go back to it later, so make sure you're prepared to complete it once you begin filling it out.

Apply online for a grant to repair a private historic building.


It is important to research any historic information relevant to the building that can provide details of original design and materials. 

Photographic archive records are a useful source of information and may be available from the Renfrewshire Heritage Centre.

Small scale works

If the proposed work is very small scale, for example renewal of timber windows or painting works, then you may prefer to organise and administer the project yourself. 

You should aim to get competitive quotes from three separate contractors, but where this has not been possible 1 or 2 quotes will be accepted. 

You should also confirm what consents are required for all repairs with our Development Standards team. You can email them at or phone 0300 300 0144.

If you're obtaining the quotes from contractors yourself, you should make sure that you give each one the same information, so that you can compare the quotes fairly. 

If possible, get recommendations from someone who has had similar work carried. Ask contractors or builders for references and check these out. 

If you're a qualified and experienced professional, you can do the work yourself provided we approve your plans. However, you can't use the grant to pay your own professional fees.

Consultants and professional advisors

For larger and more complex repair projects you need to get professional advice from a qualified architect, or a surveyor with relevant conservation experience before you apply for the grant. 

Professional advisors must be members of a recognised professional body. For listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas, they should ideally have an accreditation in conservation.

You can find a: 

You will need a professional advisor for:

  • all projects with a total value over £8,000
  • projects with a value of £8,000 or less with significant design elements.

Your professional advisor will guide you through the construction process including: 

  • surveys and condition report
  • research, analysis and archaeological investigation of the fabric
  • developing detailed drawings or specifications for the project
  • submitting drawings for consents such as planning, listed building consent and building warrant
  • advice for other professionals involved with the work, like, structural engineers or quantity surveyors
  • preparation of information required to tender the project
  • inviting tenders from suitable contractors and preparing a tender report
  • advising on an appropriate form of building contract 
  • contract administration and inspection or valuation of the works on site
  • liaising with funding partners
  • advising on Health and Safety
  • liaising with the principal designer in accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (Health and Safety Executive website)

We'll let you know when you apply if a professional advisor is required.

To use the grant towards professional fees, you should aim to get three competitive fee bids from suitably qualified professionals. 

You can choose not to use the lowest quote. However, the difference between this quote and the lowest quote will not be funded. 


Your project should be carried out by a competent contractor with relevant experience. They should have experience of working in older and historic buildings and be a member of an appropriate trade association or registration body. Ask your professional advisor for recommendations for suitable contractors.

You should aim to get at least three tenders or quotes for the proposed work. We recommended you get quotes from at least four or five contractors in case some do not submit. 

The contractor will submit a price based on tender information from your professional advisor and any other professionals, such as a quantity surveyor. This information should include:

  • specifications, which can include drawings
  • bills of quantities on larger projects. 

You will need a tender report from your professional advisor for projects over £8,000. 

If we approve it, you can accept your contractor's quotation and agree a date to start works on site following the completion of the grant award process. Your professional advisor should help you set up a contract appropriate for the size of your project.

You should also be aware that as a client you have duties for health and safety under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (Health and Safety Executive website).

Quotes for costs

You should list all the items clearly in each quote so we can compare them. You might find it useful to prepare a scope of works for potential contractors when you are asking them for quotes.

If you are getting quotes for different elements of the work, you'll need 3 separate quotes for each element.

If you are getting quotes for different types of work in your repair plan, you should aim for 3 quotes for each type of work.

For example:

  • up to 3 separate quotes for roofing
  • up to 3 separate quotes for stonemasonry 
  • up to 3 separate quotes for carpentry.

Make sure your quotes are from legitimate contractors or suppliers with the necessary specialist skills.

Where possible, get quotes from local contractors based in Renfrewshire.

Planning consents and building warrants

Before you start works on your property, you will need to check if you need planning consent and a building warrant. 

If your property is listed, you may also need Listed Building consent (which may need to be referred to Historic Environment Scotland). If your property is in Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir or Houston you may need Conservation Area consent.

You can apply for the grant even if your planning permission application is in progress, however you will need to give us written confirmation that it's been granted, or that it's not required, before we can award you the grant.

It can take several months for planning consent or building warrants to be processed. 

We recommend you get advice on your proposal about:

  • planning consent from the Development Management team at or call 0300 300 0144
  • building standards, listed buildings, and conservation areas from the Building Standards team at or 0300 300 0144.

Scale drawings

It's not a requirement for a Small Grant application to submit scale drawings but it may help support your submission. 

To make a Standard Grant application, you should submit scale drawings if you can.

If submitting drawings, they must:

  • be to scale and include relevant plans, elevations and cross-sections to best explain the scope of works
  • make clear what work will be done and correspond to the specification of works, and quotes for the work

A professional advisor will be able to help prepare drawings for you.

Owner and leaseholder details

You must include evidence of who owns the property, or a formal lease, with your application.

If you lease the property, you must also have written permission from the owner to do the proposed works.

Data Protection

We need to collect certain information to process your grant application and to contact you about it.

See our privacy policy on how we use your data and rights.

Other guidance on repairs and maintenance

Other guidance and information on repairing and maintaining historic buildings is available online, including:

How to apply for the grant