Fund title: Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund

Focus of fund/fund aims:

Village hall committees can apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of village halls and community buildings with charitable status in rural areas

Application deadline:

Two-stage process: Stage 1 online at any time; Stage 2 by invitation, to be submitted by 31 March 2020 or until the fund is fully committed

Fund description:

A £3 million fund to improve village halls and better connect rural communities across the country has been launched by the government. The funding is being managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra.

The grant aims to help fund the updating and refurbishment of village halls so that they are fit for purpose and provide activities which seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for their communities:

  • improved health and wellbeing/reduction in loneliness
  • demonstrates a positive impact on the environment
  • supports the local rural economy

The scheme will fund up to 20% of eligible costs, with a minimum grant of £10,000 and a maximum grant of £75,000 payable. This means that overall project costs would be between £50,000 and £375,000: committees will need to provide the rest of the funding from reserves, fundraising and other grants.

Applications can be made by registered charities, charitable trusts, charitable incorporated organisations, community associations which are registered charities and charitable companies. The project must be a village hall or similar rural community building. Multi-purpose church halls and Scout and Guide buildings are also eligible where they are open for the whole community, there is no alternative village hall in situ, they are not single use and they are clearly advertised as multi- purpose.

There is a list of restrictions on eligible applicants and costs which should be studied carefully. For example, new build projects, school halls, sports pavilions with amateur sports club status, VAT-registered organisations, routine maintenance, Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) works and feasibility studies are not eligible.

Further information:

http://acre.org.uk/our-work/village-hall-improvement-grant%20fund