The provisions below apply to all applications for subsidies submitted after 28 December 2014. Applications submitted prior to that date are still governed by the former legislation.
A State subsidy may be granted, on certain conditions, for the restoration and enhancement of buildings of historical, architectural, artistic, scientific, technical or industrial interest, and which have retained their typical or historical character and are protected by national or communal measures.
The subsidies help cover a portion of the additional expenses occasioned by the relevant measures.
Applications for the subsidy are managed by the National Sites and Monuments Service (Service des sites et monuments nationaux - SSMN).
Who is concerned
This procedure is open to all natural and legal persons, communes, associations of communes and associations:
- wishing to carry out works contributing to the conservation or restoration of the original appearance of a building, with the aim of safeguarding its historical substance;
- who agree to observe the recommendations made by the SSMN.
To qualify for a subsidy:
- the building must have retained its typical or historic character;
- the building must be covered by a national or communal protection measure;
- the work must contribute to the conservation or restoration of the original appearance of the building.
To qualify for the subsidy, the building must be covered by a national protection measure, or a similar scheme on a communal level.
The term national protection measure should be taken to mean the listing of a building as a national monument, or its inclusion on the supplementary inventory.
The term communal protection measure refers to the listing of a building as a building to be conserved in a protected sector of communal interest by the general development plan for a commune.
How to proceed
The subsidy can cover the following:
- façade works;
- roofing works;
- flashing works;
- structural works;
- ironworks and locks;
- window installations;
- restoration or renovation of doors;
- various types of work inside the building to safeguard its historical substance;
- where applicable, scientific analyses and the services of an architect and/or engineer.
Filing an application
The application is submitted, prior to starting the works, using the relevant application form.
The applicant must attach the following supporting documents:
- representative photos showing all sides of the building to be restored;
- plans and quotes for the project depending on the intended work.
If the building is not protected by a national measure, the application must include a certificate from the commune proving the building's protected status in the commune.
The complete application should be sent to the SSMN, whose address is given on the form.
Thereafter, an expert from the SSMN will set an appointment at the site to discuss the different types of work to be carried out. Based on the submitted quotes, the Minister of Culture may send to the applicant, on the advice of the SSMN and, if applicable, of the National Sites and Monuments Commission, a promise of a subsidy.
That promise will include the works which are to be subsidised and the percentage or lump sum of the subsidy in relation to the expenses incurred.
The works for which a subsidy is granted are monitored by the SSMN. The SSMN's recommendations must be observed by the project owner during the work. If the project owner fails to observe the SSMN's recommendations, the SSMN will report such failure to the Minister, which could result in a partial or total cancellation of the subsidy promise.
Upon completion of the works, the total amount of the subsidy is set by the Minister on the advice of the SSMN and on the basis of a form completed and returned to the SSMN, together with receipted invoices and photos of the restored building.
In submitting that form, the applicant formally commits to refrain from altering the result of the subsidised restoration works without informing the department at least 3 months prior to the beginning of any new works. Should that commitment not be observed, the applicant must reimburse the funds.
Note that the subsidies are granted within the limits of the available budgets.
Amount of subsidies
Within the limits of the SSMN budget, eligible works may be subsidised as follows:
- up to 25% of expenses incurred for buildings that are protected at the communal level, not listed as national monuments, not proposed for listing and not registered in the supplementary inventory;
- up to 50% of expenses incurred for buildings that are listed as national monuments, proposed for listing or registered in the supplementary inventory;
- over 50% of expenses incurred for buildings that are listed as national monuments, and when approved by the National Sites and Monuments Commission.