IN 2023, a £3 million village halls fund was launched to provide support for the modernisation and improvement of village halls in England... and now it’s back for 2024!

Managed by Action with Rural Communities in England (ACRE), the fund has already awarded more than £1 million to rural communities, some of which are here in Teignbridge, to help them undertake ambitious improvements to their buildings.

Works undertaken or scheduled to take place include new roofs, insulation, extensions, and more energy efficient heating systems.

The grant fund has reopened to new applicants who wish to undertake smaller projects such as disability access, toilet upgrades and new kitchens. 

Grant awards of between £2,000 to £5,000, and up to 20 per cent of eligible project costs, are on offer.

Project expenditure must take place before March 31, 2025.

A streamlined on-line application process and simplified eligibility criteria will make it easier for smaller projects to come forward for support.

Deborah Clarke, Village Halls Manager at ACRE said, ‘We hope the smaller grants on offer will help even more village hall management committees make much needed improvements to their buildings. 

‘With increasing energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis, the need to have warm, welcoming and accessible spaces open to everyone has become ever more important in the countryside.

‘Often village halls are the only place where people can meet and socialise locally, and they provide a venue from which many self-employed people earn a livelihood. ‘The availability of grant funding from government supports the continued use of these important rural assets.’