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Community Buildings

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.

Community Buildings Directory

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.

Village Halls Guide to Funders 2017

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 Quality Standard for Halls

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 & Video Interviews

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.

Making the Most of your Hall - Are you Charging Enough?
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.

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:


Latest News

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

4 July 2017

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents what services are important to them.  The brief survey being used will provide a focus for the first discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel.

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

27 June 2017

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is encouraging households across the county to consider how to be better prepared in the event of an emergency and has produced a simple Household Emergency Plan leaflet to help.

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

4 April 2017

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

Volunteers from across the county have met with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria to discuss how village halls and other community buildings can be more resilient.

ACT champions community and rural issues, and sees community buildings as a critical part of vibrant, sustainable rural life. Funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund is supporting ACT to develop a toolkit to help community buildings manage risks and be more resilient.

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

30 March 2017

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACTion with communities in Cumbria is urging the Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms. 

New ACT Trustees

21 February 2017

New ACT Trustees

ACTion with communities in Cumbria champions community and rural issues and are welcoming two energetic, committed people to join our board of trustees. As a registered charity that has been functioning for almost 70 years, we need trustee board members who can use their local knowledge and understanding to think strategically about how best to support rural communities to thrive.

Our two new ACT Board members come from very different backgrounds and bring a diverse range of skill sets and expertise to the table.

Big Lottery Fund pledges £1 million support to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient in the wake of the December floods

13 September 2016

Big Lottery Fund pledges £1 million support to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient in the wake of the December floods

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced a £1 million package to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient. This comes in the wake of December’s devastating floods, and will help local people, communities and organisations to prepare for similar events in the future.

The ‘Rebuilding Together’ programme will take place over the next 3 years, led by Cumbria CVS and delivered in partnership with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) – three local charities with a long history of working together to support Cumbrian communities and organisations.