Platinum Jubilee Village Halls Fund; a story of success part 1. 

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This is the first in a series of articles about funding, read our other stories here.

Our village halls are an integral part of our community and provide a hub for family and social events, fitness, education and healthcare services. Their upkeep is of paramount importance and the need to do ongoing repairs and maintenance and in many circumstances, modernisation, puts inevitable strain on the hall's finances. 

In May 2022, Defra announced a £3 million Platinum Jubilee Village Halls Fund, to mark Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. This followed on from their earlier Village Hall Improvement Grants

The aim of the Platinum Jubilee Village Halls Fund was to support the modernisation and improvement of village halls, so that they are fit for purpose and can provide activities which seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for their communities: 

  • improve health and/or wellbeing and/or reduction in rural loneliness,​
  • positive impact on the local environment, contributes towards net zero,
  • support for the local rural economy,
  • promotion of community cohesion.

There were two stages to the application; applicants submitted basic information about their organisation, local community and the project proposed to determine eligibility in Stage 1.  

Applicants who were successful were then invited to complete a Stage 2 application and at this point, the team at Community Action Norfolk contacted all Norfolk applicants to offer them help and advice to compose their bids before they applied.  

Wretham Village Hall applied for a grant to make major improvements to the hall which included insulation, a new heating system, windows and doors, a new floor and solar panels. They were also looking to install CCTV and Broadband. The list was extensive.  

The grant would form part of a wider project and success was clearly going to make a major difference to the charity and local community. 

This is where our Community Development Officer, Tonya stepped in. She was able to offer advice and guidance around what they would need to take their bids forward and helped them gather evidence in support of their application. 

The process required them to meet specific criteria set by Defra and Tonya’s expertise enabled them to streamline their responses and determine how the funding would improve health and wellbeing and reduce loneliness in the local community.

They also had to demonstrate the environmental benefits and evidence how the funding would support the rural economy whilst enhancing community cohesion. 

Tonya then wrote a supporting summary about our knowledge of the Hall’s committee to accompany their application. 

As the Platinum Jubilee funding only covered a maximum of 20% of the eligible costs associated with the project, Tonya advised on other grants that were available to cover the overall cost. 

We are delighted to report that the application was successful, and the feedback received from the organisation highlighted how much they valued our help.

Sharron from Wretham Village Hall wrote: 

“I was incredibly pleasantly surprised by the amount of time Tonya spent in conversation with me around throughout our application for the Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund. Tonya was not only always available and professional but her sense of genuinely wanting to help (not just us) was abundantly clear. It made such a change to meet someone with such positivity to start with and happy in their work. Tonya was inspirational with her advice and guidance and support. She never crossed the line in saying what to write but definitely steered me in the correct way to approach the application, ensure that we had all supporting materials and quotes prior to starting and how to read the questions in the way to answer correctly to ensure that we were able to hit all the points to be successful.  

 I couldn’t have asked for more, honestly.  

 What an asset to the team!” 

Could we help you?

Our Community Development Team can provide support with a lot of funding related queries, including: 

  • Carrying out funding searches.
  • Proofreading applications.
  • With training, factsheets, and advice on practical aspects of funding.
  • Guidance around deveoping a funding strategy.
  • Support with building your project, carrying out engagement, or reviewing and reporting your successes in order to provide evidence for your bids.


Get in touch on 01362 698216 or by email to office@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk and find out more about how we can help you!