How we make a difference
Making an impact
We are best known for protecting historic churches at risk. What is less well known is the significant positive economic and social impact our work has on local communities across the country.
- Our team and our churches generate over £12 million of business in local communities, using core funding of just £4.2 million.
- This includes a direct boost of £10 million to the local economy.
- Our repair programme supports over 70 local full-time craft and related skilled jobs.
- 1,750 volunteers contribute their time and skills to our churches, with a value equivalent to £1m.
- 1.9 million visitors to our churches enjoy a heritage experience valued at more than £4m.
- 4,000 community, arts and educational events take place in our churches
As one member of the Norfolk community commented: ‘how do they do such brilliant work with so few people?’Download our Impact report
Visitors and tourism
Research shows that of our 1.9 million visitors each year, 94% find their experience ‘enjoyable’ or ‘very enjoyable’. Through comparison with heritage settings for which an entry charge is made, we estimate the value of this ‘tourism experience’ to be close to £4 million a year.
The local economy
We generate £10 million in local economic activity:
- We use local contractors for work in churches, making a direct contribution of almost £4 million.
- Spending by visitors in local businesses which is attributable to visits to our churches is estimated at £6 million.
- Almost 200,000 people each year attend events in a CCT church. Together with donations which are ploughed back into the church and its activities, expenditure at these events boosts the local economy by at least £1 million.
The £10 million total includes only immediate expenditure: recycled successively through local contractors, businesses and suppliers, the final economic impact will be higher.
Visitors’ money spent locally supports local employment. We also provide employment for skilled local craftsmen and support the national heritage skills base. For example, our main repair programme creates:
- more than 70 jobs for specialist craftsmen such as stonemasons, leadworkers, glaziers and carpenters;
- the full-time equivalent of more than three specialist architects’ posts;
- employment for our own staff, most of them based regionally and includes national experts in heritage conservation and management.
One local job in heritage maintenance and construction is supported for every £60,000 of our investment.
Some 1,750 volunteers give time to CCT on a regular basis, equating to more than 100,000 donated hours a year. We have exceeded our targets for the engagement of young volunteers; working with groups such as ‘v’ and Community Service Volunteers, attracting volunteers from backgrounds often not associated with the heritage sector.
Tasks undertaken by volunteers range from basic maintenance to skilled craft work. It is estimated that the annual value of this voluntary work is over £1million.
Contributing to the local community
Our buildings are a living part of their communities, providing a centre for local activities and reaching out to those who have not historically been associated with the church.
4,000 community, arts events and educational visits take place in our churches each year, and we are involved in 80 training, education, volunteering and community development projects and partnerships across England.Download our Impact report
The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity saving historic churches at risk
Learn about our funding