Community Buildings, Village Halls and other assets owned by the community, such as playing fields and other open spaces, are at the very heart of villages and neighbourhoods. ACT supports the volunteers who manage these facilities through the Community Buildings Service.
ACT's Community Buildings Service offers guidance covering three main areas: Governance; Funding and Project Planning; and People Skills.
ACT's Community Buildings Service provides the following throughout Cumbria:
- Telephone / Email support from an ACT officer
- Free ACT guidance sheets and other resources
- Free national Village Hall Information Sheets (on request only)
- Free entry on the Community Buildings Directory - check you hall's details are up to date
- Free half-day Community Buildings workshops, three times a year
- Free ACT Gazette newsletter with community buildings news, three times a year
- A voice for issues affecting community buildings and village halls at a national level, via Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)
- Bespoke support for individual groups at £40 per hour (membership discounts apply)
Click here for an information sheet detailing support ACT can offer. Additional free support may also be available for some community buildings and village halls if ACT has funding to work in your area, contact us to check whether you’re eligible.
We have a wide range of resources, including Guidance Sheets and Workbooks available online via the Resources and Publications page. Should you need specialist advice we can put you in touch with people with the necessary skills. We can also provide national village hall information sheets, free of charge on request, to halls in Cumbria.
We can help you think about the needs of your local community and to consider ways in which the assets you already manage: village halls, open spaces, allotments and so on, might be used to meet those needs. For example, some communities in Cumbria have started community cafes or ‘Community Exchanges' using their village hall as a social hub where local people can access a variety of services as well as enjoying meeting one another.
Our Community Buildings Directory provides information on village halls and community buildings in Cumbria - useful for anyone looking for a venue, and a great opportunity for halls to promote what they have to offer. If your community building’s details are missing, or need to be updated, please complete this form and send it to us at ACT.
We've updated our 'Village Halls Guide to Funders' with guidance to help you write funding applications, and summary information for many of the grant funds your hall project may be eligible for.
Hallmark is a nationally recognised award, promoting good management and practice by Community Building Management Committees. Community Buildings with Hallmark can benefit from insurance discounts and gain recognition on funding applications as the award acts as evidence of the high standard of the committee members and the merit of the hall.
There are 3 Hallmark awards covering: 'Charity administration and management'; 'Health, safety, security and licences'; and 'Community & social awareness, communications, forward planning and development'
Case studies highlighting the experiences of community buildings, their learning, and celebrating their achievements are also available. These include short video interviews with village halls committee members who have been involved in a variety of projects, and an interview with The Big Lottery providing advice for community buildings looking to access funding.
Guidance to help you look at the income you get from your room hire, and whether this is enough for you to cover your costs. If you aren’t making enough from people hiring your hall, you will be eating into your reserves and you may need to find other sources of funding to keep your hall open.
This toolkit aims to help village hall committees consider the main risks for their hall and to access further information to help manage these risks effectively.
Risks is often a topic which focuses on Health and Safety, or a crisis situation. This toolkit takes a more holistic approach to the range of risks for halls, and categorises these under four key headings of: Law and Governance; People; Money; and Buildings.
Contact us to find out more about ACT's Community Buildings Service and visit the Events page for more information about Community Buildings training and events.
Many thanks to the following organisations for supporting our work with community buildings: