Village halls in England have received £1.2 million through a government funding scheme, helping these community hubs make vital refurbishments to continue the invaluable role they play in rural communities.
So far, grants for 21 projects have been approved as part of the £3 million Village Halls Improvement Grant Scheme launched in April 2019. Improvements include repairs to roofs, refurbishments to toilets and kitchens and new meeting rooms.
The announcement was made at the start of Village Halls Week, a national campaign running from Monday 20 January to Sunday 26 January. The campaign celebrates the services that village halls provide in rural communities across England, and will involve events at 650 village halls across the country.
With more than 10,000 village halls across the country, these spaces provide vital hubs for communities to come together, collaborate and celebrate. Many halls provide a space for shops, cafes, pop up pubs, nurseries and doctors.
The celebrations will be marked in a speech by Defra Rural Affairs Minister Lord Gardiner at an event in Westminster today (20 January).
Defra Rural Affairs Minister Lord Gardiner said:
Village halls are an essential part of rural life. I am delighted that our grant scheme is helping to refurbish our nation’s village halls, and each and every one will make a real difference to their communities.
There can be no doubt that village halls are more important and relevant than ever. Village Halls Week provides a perfect opportunity for people up and down the country to celebrate these wonderful places at the heart of our rural community.
Through the government’s grant scheme, run by charity organisation Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), village hall committees are able to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings.