Photo: village hall Cumbria

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 communities. ACT supports the volunteers who manage these facilities through the free Community Buildings Service, offering the following throughout Cumbria:

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. Please contact us  if your community building’s details are missing, or need to be updated.

Specialist Village Hall information and model documents

Contact us at ACT for free copies of the ACRE Village Hall information sheets and model documents. Whether you're looking for information on a specific topic; reviewing your hall's policies; or newly joined your village hall committee, we've got a wide range of specialist ACRE Village Hall Information Sheets available free of charge to halls in Cumbria.

These information sheets often cover a wide range of information, with useful appendices and model documents and the title's don't always do them justice! Take a look at our Village Hall Managing Risks Toolkit for a helpful summary of every ACRE information sheet, so you know which to choose.  

National Village Halls Week

Village Halls Week is a national campaign in January each year, shining a spotlight on the contribution England’s 10,000+ village halls make to rural communities. It is an opportunity for hall management committees to celebrate their work and get inspiration from others. See our Village Halls Week page.

Safeguarding in Village and Community Halls

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. ACT is raising awareness of the measures that can be taken by halls across Cumbria to protect individuals from harm, and supporting volunteer hall committees to ensure they have the knowledge and confidence to operate in a safe and welcoming manner for all who use their facility. See our Community Buildings – Safeguarding page.

Hallmark Quality Standard for Halls

Hallmark is a nationally recognised award, promoting good management and practice by Community Building Management Committees. Halls 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. See our page on Hallmark.

Energy Audits, Building Condition Surveys and more!

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, we're offering a bursary to community buildings for up to 90% of the cost of a Building Condition Survey and / or Energy Audit. A Building Condition Survey assesses the fabric and function of your building, with recommendations for improvements; an Energy Audit does the same for the building’s energy use.

We would like to get to the point where all community buildings have an up to date Building Condition Survey and have at least completed a 'DIY' energy survey (see below) - before moving onto a commissioned one. This is part of helping community buildings to be sustainable and provide a comfortable and affordable space for the benefit of their local residents.

To apply for the bursary, please complete the simple Community Building Energy and Condition Survey Bursary Application Form

Applicants will be expected to have first completed the 'DIY' self assessment energy survey from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. This does not need to include the final section of the document, although you will need these details for an full energy survey. We also need you to tell us how you hope and plan to use the results to improve the service you deliver.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has also written useful guidance on Energy Efficiency Improvements for Community Buildings.

ACT's preferred provider for community buildings surveys is Alasdair Muir of A Muir Surveying. Visit our Partnerships page for further information. If you have your own contractor, please share their details with us, as we are currently challenging capacity with Alasdair.

Please note: 
This is a time limited offer and we have to allocate and complete the surveys in 2023/24 financial year as far as possible.

If you have any queries on this please do contact us:

Reduced Energy Bills with Utility Aid

ACT has partnered with Utility Aid, the UK's lowest cost Energy Broker specialising in sourcing energy for the not-for-profit sector, to help you save on your energy bills. Visit our Partnerships page for further information.

What people say about ACT

  • Helpful information and fact sheets

    Sarah Greening

    Tirril Village Hall

  • Provide reliable advice and information, easy to contact

    Emma Brocklebank

    Walton Village Hall

  • They provide such a lot of valuable information

    Anne Wappett

    Ravenstonedale Community Hall

  • Assistance and advice!

    David Morris

    St Oswalds Church Ravenstonedale

  • Of the help they have provided in the past and also the information they give via newsletter etc plus the training events are a really good opportunity to learn but to also network

    Henry Barker

    Harriston Village Hall CIO

  • Goodness me, where do I begin. What a fantastic resource you are! Relevant, practical and timely information

    Helen Fisher

    Botcherby Community Centre

  • It helps to guide/inform those running/managing village halls/rural amenities

    David Clarkson

    Eaglesfield Village Hall

  • Fountain of knowledge/library so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel

    Sian Howe

    Clifton Village Hall

  • They are always there when you need them with up todate advice and help

    Chris Battersby

    Eamont Village Hall

  • Excellent support to our bids for funding.

    Andy Roberts

    Borrowdale Institute

Relevant Resources

Guidance Sheets

Research & Other Publications

Toolkits & Workbooks

  • Guide To Funders 2023

    Funders guide for village halls and other community groups. Lists many funders supporting community projects in Cumbria.

  • Village Halls Managing Risks Toolkit

    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. Risk 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.

  • Warm Spots Toolkit

    Warm Spots are warm and safe places to be this winter. They are places in the community that give people a warm space and a warm welcome. This toolkit is for people who are thinking about setting up a Warm Spot in their community. It gives you information on  what a Warm Spot needs to offer, how to register your Warm Spot, tips for running a welcoming  and safe Warm Spot. 

    The toolkit is a multi-agency document written in October 2022 in response to the cost of living crisis and much of the information is no longer up to date, however it is full of ideas and tips on how to set up and run a warm spot

  • ACT Community Exchanges Toolkit

    Community Exchanges are regular community-led events that bring people together, provide services and information and reduce social isolation. This toolkit brings together a series of guidance sheets and video interviews from Crosthwaite Exchange, 'The Vic' Community Cafe in Culgaith, and Bolton Exchange, to support other communities looking to start their own Exchange or Community Cafe.

  • Questionnaire Design Guide

    Being able to put together a survey which is easy to understand, and will give you the information you need, is a useful skill for any community group, particularly those doing Community Led Plans. This guide provides an introduction to writing questionnaires, the types of questions to avoid, how to ensure your survey is accessible to all, and how to analyse the results.

Case Studies


Kirkby Lonsdale Community Assets March 2013

Community Interest Company initiated by the Town Council.

Tebay Church Vestry Refurbishment Feb 2013

Community Project involving training, events and local cultural / environmental heritage promotion.

Skelsmergh Hall Refurbishment March 2011

High Wray Hall Refurbishment March 2011

Culgaith 'The Vic' Community Cafe Oct 2010

Lamplugh VH Film Nights Sept 2010

Many thanks to the following organisations for supporting our work with community buildings:

Logo: Eden District Council Logo: Allerdale Borough Council Logo: South Lakeland District Council Logo: DEFRA Logo: Lottery Community Fund