Can I get a grant to remove my asbestos roof?
The carcinogenic mineral known as asbestos has sadly had a long continuing history of harm to human health, even more than a generation after its importation and use in the UK was banned in 1999.
Used heavily in the construction industry from the 1950s to the mid-1980s in particular, asbestos featured in a great number of roofing projects during that time, including in the UK. The material was once prized on account of such perceived advantages as its physical strength, fire resistance, and relative availability and affordability.
- 1 Are there any asbestos removal grants available in the UK?
- 2 Consider tax relief as another option
- 3 Other financial benefits of removing your asbestos roof
- 4 It could be well worth investigating financial support for asbestos roof removal
However, as it became more widely known among the general public that the breathing-in or ingestion of asbestos brought a heightened risk of developing potentially fatal disease such as mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, political pressure grew. The use of asbestos was eventually banned – but even to this day, the material is still present in many roofing systems up and down the UK.
As we previously wrote about here at Oracle Solutions, you might be especially motivated to remove an asbestos roof at a property for which you are responsible, if the roof looks old and worn or it appears to be leaking.
Such circumstances, after all, can make it difficult to repair an old roof. So, it might ultimately make more sense to you to have it removed altogether, so that it can be replaced with a more modern and safer roofing system.
But as we also mentioned in our asbestos garage roof removal guide, it can easily cost around £1,000 or more to have an asbestos cement roof removed from a building such as a garage. With that in mind, you might be interested in knowing if there are any grants or other financial support available to make it easier to remove an old asbestos roof at your premises.
Are there any asbestos removal grants available in the UK?
The short answer to the above question is… sadly, in a UK-wide sense, there generally aren’t any grants available to enable this kind of specialised asbestos removal work.
However, by looking on a local basis rather than a national one, you might be able to find some potential funding sources for asbestos roof removal. These sources include the below:
Some local authorities make available grants or financial assistance programmes to assist property owners with the removal of asbestos roofs. These grants may be available for residential, commercial, or industrial properties.
If the property from which you are seeking to remove an asbestos roof is of historical or architectural significance, you may be eligible for heritage grants provided by organisations such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund) or Historic England.
The aim behind such grants is to help preserve historic buildings by assisting with necessary renovations, such as asbestos removal.
Certain charities and non-profit organisations in the UK focus on environmental or health-related causes. You might therefore be able to access grants or financial aid from such organisations for your asbestos roof removal project, especially if the removal benefits the community or aligns with the mission of the organisation providing such financial support.
Energy efficiency grants
Some energy efficiency schemes or grants focus on improving the energy efficiency of buildings, which may include the removal of asbestos roofs. These grants are frequently aimed at the reduction of carbon emissions and the promotion of sustainable building practices.
Business grants and loans
If the property that you are looking to remove an asbestos roof from is a business or commercial property, it might be possible for you to tap into relevant grants or loans through business support schemes or local economic development initiatives.
The idea behind such grants oriented towards commercial buildings is typically to help offset the costs of asbestos removal, and to encourage the development of business premises.
What if you are a homeowner, and your property requires significant repairs, including asbestos roof removal? In that case, you might be eligible for housing grants like those that local authorities or housing associations sometimes make available.
These grants are typically means-tested, and are targeted at individuals or families that require financial assistance.
Health and safety grants
As we touched on at the top of this article, asbestos roof removal is certainly a safety concern. So, it could be well worth looking at the various grants that are available to promote health and safety in various settings. These grants may be provided by government agencies or organisations that focus on occupational health and safety.
It is important to appreciate that each grant programme you find will have its own set of eligibility criteria. So, it is essential to review the specific requirements outlined in the grant application guidelines, or to contact the grant provider directly for detailed information.
Furthermore, we recommend that you thoroughly research and consider multiple funding sources and grants that align with your specific circumstances. This will be instrumental in maximising your chances of securing financial assistance for your asbestos roof removal.
Consider tax relief as another option
With there being so few grants available for those wishing to remove an asbestos roof from their property, if you are acting in a business capacity, you should almost certainly be looking at tax relief as a further potential source of support.
Since the introduction of an Act in 2001, it has been the law that a business is entitled to a 150% tax rebate in relation to the removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from its premises. This means that if, for example, you spent £10,000 on having asbestos removed from your building, you would be able to subtract £15,000 from your taxable income.
As we have previously written about, you can claim this tax relief via the tax return. However, you will need to ensure you meet certain criteria and requirements – including your company not having been the original polluter of the land or buildings, and the company not receiving any other subsidy or grant towards the asbestos removal.
Other financial benefits of removing your asbestos roof
Arranging to have your asbestos roof removed from your building can bring a variety of financial benefits. These may include:
Increased property value
ACMs, such as asbestos roofs, can deter many potential buyers or renters of a property from pursuing their interest in the building.
By contrast, removing the asbestos roof from your property and replacing it with a safer alternative could enhance your property’s market value. Buyers and tenants are frequently willing to pay a premium for properties where there are no asbestos-related risks.
Improved insurance coverage
Some insurance companies may charge higher premiums, or impose restrictions on properties in which ACMs are present. Having your asbestos roof removed may therefore allow you to secure more favourable insurance terms and even reduce your insurance costs in the longer term.
Lower maintenance and repair expenses
Asbestos roofs can be susceptible to deteriorating over time. This, in turn, can lead to damage and leaks. Arranging for ongoing repairs and maintenance on an asbestos roof can be costly, due to the need to hire specialist asbestos contractors who can be counted on to handle the dangerous material safely and responsibly.
So, it could make a lot more financial sense in the long run to have your asbestos roof removed, as this would eliminate the need for the specialised maintenance and repairs that such roofs require.
Energy efficiency savings
Asbestos roofs typically lack energy efficiency, and may contribute to heat loss or excessive heat gain in the building where they have been fitted.
So, the act of replacing your asbestos roof with a modern, energy-efficient material could greatly help to improve insulation and reduce energy consumption. This can then translate into lower heating or cooling costs, which could accumulate especially quickly if the building in question is one that is constantly used, such as for a workspace or storage.
Potential grants or financial assistance
As we mentioned earlier, the fact that there may be grants or other forms of financial assistance available for asbestos roof removal could be a powerful advantage of arranging for this job to be done.
After all, if you ultimately have to pay relatively little or nothing in order to remove your asbestos roof, but as a consequence of this, you reap all the other advantages of asbestos roof removal that we have listed here, you might wonder how you can possibly justify not having your property’s asbestos roof removed.
Avoidance of legal and liability issues
With asbestos being such a hazardous material, and the ongoing management of this substance in a building being subject to stringent regulations in the UK, leaving your property’s asbestos roof in place could heighten the likelihood of legal complications and penalties in the longer term.
In the event of someone being exposed to asbestos while on your property, and developing asbestos-related health issues as a result of this, you may be held responsible. So, having the asbestos roof removed before the above has a chance to happen, mitigates such risks and the possible associated legal expenses.
Peace of mind
The benefits of having your property’s asbestos roof removed and replaced can go well beyond financial or even legal considerations.
The simple knowledge that as a result of any such removal, the roof will not be posing an asbestos-related health risk to you or anyone else who may use or visit the building, can provide powerful peace of mind. And, of course, having the asbestos roof removed will mean an improvement to the safety of the living or working environment the given building provides.
It is important to note that the financial benefits arising from having an asbestos roof removed from a building will not be exactly the same in every case; they can vary depending on such specific circumstances as the premises’ location, the condition of the roof, and the replacement material chosen.
So, we would urge you to carry out a cost-benefit analysis, and to consult with asbestos removal professionals, in order to better assess the possible monetary advantages of having your own building’s asbestos roof removed.
It could be well worth investigating financial support for asbestos roof removal
The above rundown of possible sources of grants and other financial support for the removal of your premises’ asbestos roof, might be a slightly intimidating one at first. And that’s understandable.
However, with asbestos roof removal being such a significant investment, you are likely to be very thankful that you explored the possibilities for such financial aid before you made the final decision to remove the roof.
Sadly, the prospects for finding grants for removing an asbestos roof are slim if you depend solely on funding available from national bodies. However, seeking out local sources of such potential support, as well as considering the aforementioned tax relief, could go a long way to making the removal of your building’s asbestos roof a more financially palatable proposition.
Would you like to arrange any of a range of asbestos services, including but not necessarily limited to asbestos roof removal, from trusted and skilled professionals? If so, please don’t hesitate to call the Oracle Solutions team today or request your free quote.
Written by Jess Scott
Jess Scott has been an all-round asbestos consultant since 1996. That’s nearly 3 decades of asbestos knowledge. He spends his time sharing that knowledge with the team at Oracle and with their clients. Jess's goal is, and always has been, to use my expertise in helping people to comply with the law. This legal compliance ultimately helps to protect everyone from the harmful effects of asbestos. Jess has acted as an asbestos expert witness in legal cases and is involved in many asbestos educational activities throughout the UK.