Village hall committees can apply now for grants to update and refurbish their village hall or rural community building as long as the building is located in a town or village of under 10,000 people.
This new £3million fund provided by Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) and managed on its behalf by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is expected to support around 100 community buildings.
The funding is intended for the updating and refurbishment of village halls so that they are fit for purpose and can provide activities which seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for the local community:
- Improved health and wellbeing/reduction in loneliness
- Demonstrates a positive impact on the environment
- Supports the local rural economy
The fund offers grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 which can cover up to 20% of eligible costs and 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.
There is a two-stage application process.
Although there is no stated deadline for stage one applications, groups should bear in mind the deadline for second stage applications is 31 March 2020 or as soon as the funding is fully committed.