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Guidance for Opening Halls for Pre-School Use

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ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) have published guidance for halls and community buildings who are planning how to safely re-open for use by pre-schools. 

The guidance covers requirements for hall committees as well as those for pre-schools.  There are FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and a checklist for halls to use before re-opening.

The guidance can be found by clicking here

How has your hall or building been impacted?

We have been gathering feedback from the voluntary and community sector - including halls and community buildings - about the impact the pandemic is having.  We are still gathering information but initial finds have shown that: 

  • 62% of organisations are operating adapted or partially open services. 
  • 20% of operating organisations are experiencing some capacity issues or organisational stress/ 
  • Organisations reported an average fall of £2,713 fall in monthly income 
  • 56% reported an increase in client need.   

More information will be published on our website.  We are using this information to evidence our argument for more support the sector, and to direct support services to those most impacted.  If you are a Village Hall, or Community Building and have not completed the survey, please click here to have your say.   

Financial Support

Many halls and community buildings have been struggling with standing costs during lock down.  Halls, including halls which are charities, are able to apply for grants from the government:

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

The government has announced measures to support local communities including:

  • Small Business Grants of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Applicants can only apply to one of the grants streams.  Halls that are registered charities are eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant even if their rates have been completely discounted.  The grants are available from your local district council but the government guidance for the fund can be found by clicking here.  

If you have experienced difficulties accessing this funding please let us know by emailing [email protected].

Our Development Team are still on hand to help with funding queries and provide advice on governance.  Silver members are also able to request copies of ACRE's Village Hall Information Sheets - providing valuable guidance to Halls about a range of issues.  If you need support please contact us by emailing [email protected]