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 neighbourhoods. ACT supports the volunteers who manage these facilities through the Community Buildings Service.

For coronavirus briefings, please see the coronavirus page.

ACT's Community Buildings Service offers the following throughout Cumbria:

  • Telephone/Email support from an ACT Officer
  • Free Community Buildings Events and Workshops
  • Free ACT guidance sheets, case studies and other resources
  • Free national ACRE village hall information sheets (on request only)
  • ACRE VH publications form updated 2021 10 18
  • Free entry on the Cumbria Community Buildings Directory
  • Free ACT Gazette newsletter with community buildings news
  • 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 £50 per hour - 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 for details.

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, play areas, open spaces etc. might be used to meet those needs. For example, some communities 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. Please contact us  if your community building’s details are missing, or need to be updated.

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.

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.

Energy Audits, Building Condition Surveys and more!

ACT's preferred provider Alasdair Muir provides a range of professional building surveys to community and village halls. Visit our Partnerships page for further information.

What people say about ACT

  • Provide reliable advice and information, easy to contact

    Emma Brocklebank

    Walton Village Hall


  • Many thanks for the info - I don’t know how we would have managed without your guidance!

    Gay Kelly

    Community Hall at Grizebeck


  • They are invaluable to rural communities

    Helen Sheilds

    Ravenstonedale Community Hall


  • Excellent support to our bids for funding.

    Andy Roberts

    Borrowdale Institute


  • Their ongoing support and guidance, especially through the Covid-19 period, has been invaluable. We would have struggled to re-open and operate in compliance with rapidly changing regulations


    St Bees Village Hall


  • The support that is given to local communities and good advice

    Peter Lawes

    Setmurthy Parish Hall


  • Helpful information and fact sheets

    Sarah Greening

    Tirril Village Hall


  • It is a very supportive group. Can keep in touch with Village Hall matters through ACT.

    Pamela Bishop

    Burgh-By-Sands Public Hall


  • They give advice on helping us get feedback about surveys

    Victoria Markendale

    Kirksanton Village Hall


  • ACT has provided valuable help in the running of our village hall charity and supporting our fundraising bids

    Rosalind Berry

    Blindcrake Village Hall


Relevant Resources

Guidance Sheets

Case Studies

Research & Other Publications

Toolkits & Workbooks

  • 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. 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 categories these under four key headings of: Law and Governance; People; Money; and Buildings.

  • Village Hall Guide to Funders 2021
  • 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.


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