*UPDATE*: DEFRA has reported that village halls in England received £1.2 million through the Village Halls Improvement Grant Scheme. The scheme, run by charity organisation Action with Communities in Rural England, allows village hall committees to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings.
The Government has launched a new £3 million fund to improve village halls and better connect rural communities across the country has been launched.
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 Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick was present at the launch in Nottinghamshire hosted by CTG member ACRE.
The new funding will cover 20% of the total costs of a project (acting in effect to cover the costs of irrecoverable VAT on renovation costs). 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.
Further information can be found here.