A £3 million fund to improve village halls and better connect rural communities across the country has been launched by the government.
With more than 10,000 village halls across the country, these spaces provide vital hubs for communities to connect, collaborate and celebrate.
Village hall committees are now able to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings, from improvement works on existing facilities through to new meeting rooms.
The new scheme, which will help around 100 community building projects was recently launched by Rural Affairs Minister Lord Gardiner.
Speaking at the launch Minister for Rural Affairs Lord Gardiner said:
“Village halls are the cornerstone of our rural communities. They provide vital spaces and facilities for people across the country – from fitness and social activity through to healthcare and education.
I am delighted to launch officially this £3 million grant scheme for village halls, supporting these important hubs for our local communities.”
Jonathan Djanogly MP welcomed the new scheme, saying:
“Our local village halls are at the heart of our communities. This £3 million fund will help ensure that people will be able to enjoy these important assets for many years to come.
Many village halls were built as memorials to local people who lost their lives in the first world war and this funding is part of our national commemoration of the centenary of the armistice.”
The new funding will cover 20% of the total costs of a project. The application must be a village hall or similar rural community building and a registered charity.
Applications will be assessed by a panel including Defra officials and Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) staff with extensive experience of halls and grant schemes.
The grant funding will be managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra and advice and support to potential applicants will be provided through the ACRE network. Applicants can apply for grants by using the following link: http://acre.org.uk/our-work/village-hall-improvement-grant%20fund