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:
- Phone / email support (limited due to funding)
- Community Buildings Events and Workshops
- ACT guidance sheets, case studies and other resources
- National ACRE Village Information Sheets (on request)
- Entry onto Cumbria Community Buildings Directory
- Community Buildings Updates and ACT Update newsletter
- National voice for village halls, via ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England)
- Bespoke support at £50 per hour - free if ACT has funding to work in your area, contact us for details.
- For coronavirus briefings, please see the coronavirus page.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.