Places of Worship (POW): protective security funding scheme

Apply for funding for security measures to protect against hate crime.

About the scheme

The places of worship (POW) protective security funding scheme is a government commitment in the 2016-2020 hate crime action plan. It provides funding for protective security measures to places of worship and associated faith community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime.

This scheme has been designed in accordance with government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19). The application process has been changed this year to allow the scheme to launch without applicants needing to attend their place of worship or engage Designing Out Crime Officers to undertake site assessments at this point in time. Due to the impact of coronavirus, both the process and timetable must remain flexible and is subject to change. Please read through the guidance thoroughly before making an application and check back regularly for updates to the scheme.

You can submit a bid for funding from 16 June until 23:59 on 9 August 2020. We will not consider any bids received after this date. Applicants can submit bids for up to 3 protective security measures. You will be required to contribute 20% of the total cost of the security measures. The maximum government funding available to any place of worship or associated faith community centre is £56,000.

This funding is not applicable for supporting general building improvements, security upgrades or measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, lead theft, or other criminality unconnected with hate crime. Following an open competition, Esotec Limited, has been appointed to be the single provider responsible for conducting site assessments, quotes and installations of all security measures funded under this scheme.

Hate crime

Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity can be classed as a hate crime. For this scheme, we are focusing on religion. To be considered for funding, your application will need to demonstrate that your place of worship or associated faith community centre is vulnerable to hate crimes that target people because of their religion.


We will consider bids from places of worship and associated faith community centres in England and Wales. Below are some examples of those eligible to apply for the funding, but this is not an exhaustive list:

  • churches
  • gurdwaras
  • mosques
  • temples
  • associated faith community centres (we define this as a community centre run by a place of worship or near a place of worship that is faith based, and where regular worship takes place)

Living accommodation, educational facilities, and other separate buildings not used for regular worship, are not covered by the scheme. Where these structures exist within the same building or site as the place of worship, only the protection of the place of worship will be considered.

Faith schools, educational institutions and NHS establishments (including chapels and prayer rooms) are not eligible to apply.

The Jewish community are not eligible for funding from this scheme as a separate commitment was made to fund security measures at community sites through a grant administered by the Community Security Trust.

Charity status

Places of worship and associated faith community centres are normally charitable and required by law to register as charities if their income from all sources is over £5,000 a year. Some churches are currently excepted from registration.

If you are lawfully exempt, you will be required as part of your application to include a written confirmation of your exemption and the justification of your exemption. If you are not registered as a charity and are not exempt, you will need to register with the Charity Commission before applying to the scheme.

If you would like advice and support on completing the application to register as a charity, are unsure about whether you need to register, or have any other queries about registering as a charity, please contact

Security equipment

You can only bid for funding to cover the costs of up to 3 security measures from the list below. Funding is not available for security personnel/guarding. The scheme is unable to support retrospective funding for measures already provided by third party installers.

The security equipment being covered by this funding scheme includes:

  • CCTV (fixed cameras, not pan-tilt cameras)
  • fencing and/or railings (no more than 2.1m high)
  • manually operated pedestrian and vehicle gates
  • automated vehicle gates
  • security doors and locks
  • reinforcing single glazed windows (with anti-shatter film or bars/grilles)
  • intruder alarms
  • access control (fob or keypad)
  • video intercom systems
  • lighting (building mounted)

Funding under this scheme only covers the provision and installation of these security measures. It does not cover other associated costs such as licensing, planning permission, listed building consent or ongoing costs such as charges for annual service, maintenance and monitoring.

This scheme does not cover fire detection measures or the design/modification of fire evacuation routes or processes. If door replacement is required, it is the responsibility of the place of worship to ensure that the door is compliant with fire evacuation plans and standards. Any replacement door will replicate the function of the existing door unless otherwise requested by the place of worship.

There will be an expectation on the applicant that the building is structurally sound and that existing building fabric including doors and windows are functional and intact. The scheme does not cover the blanket replacement of windows, the building of external or internal walls, or the creation of new doorsteps in the Place of Worship.

The Home Office reserves the right to fund some, but not all, of the security measures requested.

Applicants are invited to provide an indicative bid for 3 security measures, however final funding offers will be made based on recommendations from a Designing Out Crime Officer.

Contribution to costs

Places of worship or associated faith community centres will need to have sufficient funds to contribute 20% of the total cost of the security measures. This will need to be paid in advance of the installation of the security measures. The Home Office will award funding on a discretionary basis up to a maximum of £56,000.

How to bid

You need to:

  1. Collect evidence to show that your place of worship or associated faith community centre is vulnerable to hate crime. See below for details of what sort of evidence you might provide.
  2. Complete the online application form and submit your evidence. If you require any assistance with this, help may be available from your local authority community coordinator or strengthening faith institutions.
  3. If your application successfully demonstrates your vulnerability to hate crime, you will be contacted by our central contractor, Esotec Limited, to arrange a quotation assessment appointment. This appointment will be jointly undertaken with a local Designing Out Crime Officer where possible.

See our Step-by-step infographic (PDF, 84.5KB, 1 page) of the process.

Stage 1: evidence of vulnerability to hate crime

A ‘hate crime’ can be defined as any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity - for this scheme, we are focusing on religion. As part of your application, you need to provide evidence of vulnerability to hate crime that targets people because of their religion.

This could include, for example:

  • photographs/reports of incidents at your place of worship/associated faith community centre or nearby
  • police reports of a hate crime or incident at your place of worship/associated faith community centre or nearby
  • a letter or email from your local police force confirming that your institution is in an area where there has been high incidence of religiously motivated hate crimes
  • evidence of particular tensions in the community, for example, from a local authority community coordinator

This list is not exhaustive and any reasonable evidence that you provide will be considered. The 'top tips' (PDF, 113KB, 5 pages) document gives examples of evidence.

Stage 2: complete the application form online

You will need to complete an online application. You will need to attach your evidence of vulnerability to hate crime. A Designing Out Crime Officer report is not required at this stage. You must submit your application form by 23:59 on 9 August 2020. We would encourage you to apply early and will not consider any bids received after the closing date.

Stage 3: quotation assessment appointment

If your application successfully demonstrates your vulnerability to hate crime, your application will progress to a quotation assessment appointment. Our nominated contractor, Esotec Limited, will contact you to organise this appointment. Where possible, this appointment will be jointly undertaken with a local Designing Out Crime Officer (DOCO), as arranged by Esotec Limited.

This appointment will involve a site assessment in order to give you an accurate quotation for the installation of 3 physical and/or electrical security measures that are in line with the DOCO recommendations and are proportionate to the risk. Following this appointment, you will then be given an estimated cost for the work.

At this stage, if you are content with the proposal you will be required to indicate your intention to proceed. You should not undertake any installation works yourself or procure services from a third party to install such measures. Esotec will contact successful applicants and will commence work once you have paid your contribution.

Esotec Limited may use third party sub-contractors to install any future security measures, as and when required.

All Designing Out Crime Officers are qualified to the national standard and most have completed a City and Guilds advanced certificate in crime prevention and environment design.

Planning restrictions

Successful applicants should note that they will need to seek the appropriate permissions for the work to be carried out (planning permission, listed building consent, faculty permission, and so on, as applicable). The award of the grant does not constitute permission to carry out the works.

Decisions on applications

After your application has progressed past the quotation assessment appointment, it will be passed to the Independent Advisory Panel. The panel is made up of representatives from the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities who have expertise on security issues in relation to their faith buildings. The panel will also include a representative from the police crime prevention initiatives.

The panel will make recommendations to the Home Office on the allocation of funding and final decisions are taken on a discretionary basis. Even if you provide evidence of being vulnerable to religious hate crime, the panel can take other factors into account and can still recommend your application is declined. For example, they can recommend either part approval of the funds requested or recommend refusal of the full amount.

Due diligence checks will be carried out by the Home Office for applications put forward by the Independent Advisory Panel.

You will then be advised if you have been successful.

Approved bids: Installation of security measures

If your bid is successful, Esotec Limited, our nominated contractor, will engage with you on the installation of your approved security measures. You will need to pay them 20% of the agreed costs. The Home Office will pay the remaining 80% to this nominated contractor.

The Home Office will undertake audit spot checks on a number of completed projects to ensure that installation is in line with the description in the application and to our satisfaction. All bidders should be prepared that the Home Office may make contact at a later date to arrange a spot visit.

Evaluation: feedback on your experiences

The Home Office have appointed Ipsos MORI – an independent research company – to carry out an evaluation of the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme.

As part of your application form, the Home Office have asked whether you agree for your application form details, including contact details, to be shared with Ipsos MORI.

If you agree, you may be contacted by Ipsos MORI and the Home Office will share your application form data with Ipsos MORI via a secure file transfer system. Your participation in any follow up with Ipsos MORI will be voluntary. Anything you tell Ipsos MORI will be confidential and anonymous and will have no effect on the outcome of your application.

More information about Ipsos MORI can be found at


Bid opens Bid closes
15 June 2020 23:59 on 9 August 2020

Quotation assessment appointments

Quotation assessment appointments will be organised and carried out between September and November 2020 (this date is a guide and can be subject to change).

Bid review period commences

Bids will be considered by an independent advisory panel by the end of December 2020 (this date is a guide and can be subject to change).

Outcome communicated

Successful bids will be communicated by January 2021 (this date is a guide and can be subject to change).

Security training fund and consultation

The places of worship protective security funding scheme is separate to the protecting places of worship consultation (closing on the 28 June) and the security training fund. Further information on the security training fund will be made available in due course on GOV.UK.

Data protection

To find out more about how we process and protect your information, and your rights in relation to this, please see the Privacy information notice (PIN) (PDF, 173KB, 9 pages).

Contact us

Esotec Limited will be the first point of contact for the places of worship protective security funding scheme (referring any queries to the Home Office as appropriate).

If you have any queries regarding your application, please contact Esotec Limited.

Published 26 July 2016
Last updated 16 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Details updated for the 2020 scheme including the Privacy Information Notice.

  2. Bids open for 2019 fund.

  3. Bids open for 2018 fund.

  4. Bidding open for 2017 funding.

  5. Application deadline extended to 4 October 2016.

  6. Updated guidance and bid form published.

  7. First published.