An update on the Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund:
Defra has announced its intention to make available a £3 million capital grant fund to support the improvement and modernisation of village halls. This is in recognition of the important role that village halls play in in rural areas by providing a venue for the delivery of essential services, social and recreational activities, community groups, learning opportunities, post office services and much more – even in the most remote of locations.
Defra is currently considering how the Fund will be structured and operated. Defra’s preferred option is to outsource the administration of the Fund to a 3rd party delivery partner and has conducted a market sounding exercise to determine the level of interest from external organisations in administering and operating the Fund. ACRE has responded to this call and has provided information about our experience of administering the current Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund. We are awaiting further information from Defra about the next steps. When we know more we will share a further update with ACRE members.
ACRE welcomed the announcement of the fund in this news release on 28 May, https://acre.org.uk/village-hall-grants/ and is asking any group interested in the fund to complete an expression of interest form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PG2BVCC
There has been considerable interest in the fund so far, with over 1300 groups completing the expression of interest form. Whist we are waiting for further news on the fund we recommend that any group planning improvements to their village hall contacts their local ACRE member for further support. https://acre.org.uk/acre-network-directory-map/