Community Facilities

National survey of village hall life by ACRE

England’s 10,000 village halls rely on more than 12 million hours of volunteering each year to deliver their vital role at the heart of rural communities, a new survey* by ACRE has revealed. It showed volunteers who run classes and events put in 2.5 million hours annually. That’s on top of the estimated 9.6 million hours clocked up by management committees. But more than half of the halls who responded said they were struggling to find new recruits to help manage the buildings – with people protesting that they were too busy, too old or simply not interested. Read the summary of the survey or download the full briefing here.

*ACRE undertook a survey of village halls across England. The survey returned 1,300 responses, (13%) that were used to derive the statistics for this report. 

Village Halls – a valuable asset

The village hall or community centre can be the most valuable asset of any community. A properly maintained building of adequate size, well kept and well managed, can provide facilities for social, educational and recreational activities for all ages. Getting the right advice and support to help run the facility is vital.

Walgrave village hall

Northamptonshire ACRE runs an excellent Community Facilities Advisory Service for members, providing quality support and benefits to run a village hall or centre effectively. For more information about the advantages of the Advisory Service, see below. To become a member, please find details below.

Northamptonshire ACRE also maintains a Contact List with details and contacts of our village halls. If you would like to find out whether there is a hall in your area that is available to hire and to see what facilities it has, please contact us.

Community Facilities Advisory Service : 

We operate a Community Facilities Advisory Service for our members providing a wide range of practical help, advice and support to management committees running a village, community or church hall in this county. The Service is backed up by a support network of thirty-eight village/community halls advisers, countrywide together with National ACRE, our umbrella organisation.

Managing a village hall or community centre demands a wide range of skills and information to meet the ever-changing requirements set by local authority and national legislation. The Service we offer through our specialist Community Facilities Advisor is direct to our members, the volunteers who run these essential resources for the local community the facility serves.

The Advisory Service also has a voice through the National Village Halls Forum, which in turn provides a national lobbying voice for village halls enabling exchange of information and ideas to county, regional and national organisations dedicated to the promotion of the use and development of village halls throughout England, of which there are some 8,900 halls.

We can provide help and guidance on (to name but a few!):

      • Charitable Status and Charity Law
      • Grants from County, District & Borough Councils
      • Plan, Design & Build
      • Tips for Big Lottery
      • Health & Safety Policy
      • Premises Licences
      • Charitable Trusts and Foundation
      • Problems with buildings
      • Constitution of your Management Committee
      • Insurance Rate relief
      • Covenants Leases
      • TEN’s (Temporary Event Notices
      • Legislation
      • Equality Act and Employment Law
      • Trust Deeds
      • Day to day running of the Hall
      • Licensing Management issue
      • Policy Loans
      • Fire Safety & Risk Assessment
      • Maintenance & Improvements
      • Managing Trustees
      • Fundraising
      • Performing Rights Society
      • VAT and village halls
      • Good Practice
      • Widening the use of your Hall

Becoming a Community Facilities Advisory Service member:

In order to become a member and qualify for our Community Facilities Advisory Service, you will need to complete a membership form. The yearly cost of being a member is £40 which runs from 1st April to 31st March.  For further details including the advantages to being a member of Northamptonshire ACRE please follow this link: Community Facilities Membership

Please note that if you are not a member of Northamptonshire ACRE’s Community facilities advisory service, we can still help you with any queries you may have, but there will be a charge for this service. Please contact the Community Facilities Advisor, for further information about the charges for non-members.

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