Grants are available to update and improve rural village and community halls in England so that they are fit for purpose and can provide activities that benefit their local community.
The Fund is making a total of £3 million available. Grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 can cover up to 20% of eligible costs, which means the overall scheme costs would be between £50,000 and £375,000.
The funding is intended for the updating and refurbishment of village halls in order to enable them to provide activities that achieve one or more of the following outcomes for their community:
- Improved health and well-being/reduction in loneliness.
- Demonstrates a positive impact on the environment.
- Supports the local rural economy.
Applications can be submitted at any time until the Programme ends on 31 March 2020 or until it is announced that the Fund is fully committed.
The following criteria apply:
- Halls must be in towns or villages of under 10,000 people.
- Applicants should have a freehold or leasehold interest in the hall in place. If there is a lease in place, there must be at least 21 years left to run on the lease.
The funding is intended for village hall committees to support the refurbishment and alteration of their buildings, which can cover improvement works on existing facilities as well as new meeting rooms.
The funding can support a number of different things, including, but not limited to:
- Internal reconfigurations
- New roof and roof refurbishment which includes insulation
- Improvements which help to increase energy efficiency
- Refurbishment of toilets and kitchens
- Damp proofing
- Installation of Wi-Fi
- Guttering, repointing and drainage
- Replacement of external and/or internal doors.
Match funding of at least 80% is required. Groups that have secured most of the funding will be given ‘greater emphasis’.
Guidelines and the application forms can be found on ACRE’s website.
There is a two-stage application process:
- The first stage is completion of an online application form and costings.
- The second stage is the submission of a full application at any time before 31 March 2020 or until it is announced that the Fund is fully committed. Please note that only groups that are successful at stage one will be invited to submit a full application.
See their website http://acre.org.uk/our-work/village-hall-improvement-grant%20fund) or contact ACRE for further information by email (VHIGFund@acre.org.uk) or telephone 01285 653477.