Village halls across England can now apply for grants to improve and modernise their facilities, as the Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund opens for applications this week.
Launched to mark the occasion of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, the fund recognises the important role that village halls play in supporting rural communities.
Village halls are key cornerstones in the fabric of rural life, providing essential services and bringing people together through social and recreational activities.
They are vital resources for those unable to travel great distances and are key drivers of community cohesion which positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of rural communities. But many are in poor repair and in need of modernisation to better serve the communities that they represent.
The fund is managed by the charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). It is anticipated that the fund will support around 125 village halls over a three-year period creating bigger, better and brighter village halls for communities to enjoy.
Lord Benyon, Minister for Rural Affairs, said:
The Platinum Jubilee Village Halls Fund will create a national network of legacy projects to benefit rural communities.
This will be a lasting tribute to the long, exceptional service of Her Late Majesty the Queen and will support village halls, many of which were built in commemoration of Her Majesty’s predecessors, Queen Victoria and King George V. Today, village halls remain a key community asset and efforts to modernise these spaces will ensure that they are used by generations to come.
James Blake, Chair at Action with Communities in Rural England said:
We are delighted to be administering this grant fund. Village halls are the beating heart of rural communities across England. They provide warm, welcoming spaces that bring people together, combat loneliness and support countless livelihoods which is especially important at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is bearing down on many.
This investment, combined with the specialist support and advice of ACRE members will help modernise many of these important buildings so they can continue serving local communities.
The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund will be open to applications from projects aiming to deliver a positive impact on the local environment, reduce rural loneliness, support the rural economy and contribute to community life.
Village halls interested in applying can request grants from £7,500 to £75,000, and up to a maximum of 20 per cent of eligible project costs. Capital grants will be allocated to support infrastructure improvements, the refurbishment of facilities, such as kitchens and toilets, and measures to improve energy efficiency.
The application window will close on 20 January 2023, with successful applicants being able to draw on the funding from April 2023.
For further information, including how to apply for the fund visit: https://acre.org.uk/platinum-jubilee-village-halls-fund/