On April 5, 2019, a £3 million fund to renovate village halls and reconnect rural communities all across Britain was launched.
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 will help around 100 community building projects to get on site and start work.
Over the past few years, village halls across the country have spent money on substantial projects funded by grants.
The new funding will cover 20% of the total costs of a project. The remaining funding comes from a combination of charity reserves, fundraising, local authority funding and other grants such as the National Lottery Community Fund.
The application must be a village hall or similar rural community building and a registered charity. New build projects will not be eligible to apply to the fund due to their high costs and long timescales.
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.
Featured photo by Chris Knightley (via Wikimedia) is Tansley Village Hall in Tansley, Matlock, Derbyshire.