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Marlingford Village Hall

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Marlingford Village Hall approached Community Action Norfolk for support with accessing funding and developing their extension and refurbishment project.  Community Action Norfolk always operates a holistic approach to queries and identified some governance concerns that would be identified by potential funders. 

Like many groups, Marlingford Village Hall’s problems with the legal status of the organisation had arisen unintentionally over the years.  Volunteers and elected committee members, working with the best of motives, had taken decisions and changed the organisational structure without necessarily following the proper procedures.  With the passage of time the correct legal and organisational status had become unclear.  Marlingford Village Hall recognised the need to address these governance issues and contacted a local firm of solicitors. 

Being unfamiliar with charity cases, after about a year the solicitors recommended getting a barrister’s opinion on the governance status of the Village Hall at a potential cost of £3,000.  Community Action Norfolk officers thought that was unnecessary and made use of a legal advisor accessible through the RCC network.  As Marlingford Village Hall is a member of Norfolk RCC this was done free of charge allowing them to avoid the £3,000 legal costs. 

The advice from Community Action Norfolk provided Marlingford Village Hall with a clear action plan to address their governance issues and also to begin the process to incorporate under the charitable incorporated organisation model.  Norfolk RCC’s development team continues to support them through implementing that plan.  As well as helping Marlingford Village Hall Management Committee run safely, legally and effectively, this will address one of the key problems they faced in accessing funding. 

Chris Whiting, the Chair of the Marlingford Village Hall Management Committee said “the advice and support from Community Action Norfolk has been invaluable.  It has saved us money and will help us provide Marlingford with a improved and more sustainable facility for the village”.