Photo: village hall Cumbria

Community Buildings

Community Buildings, Village Halls and other assets owned by the community such as playing fields, are at the very heart of communities. ACT supports the volunteers who manage these facilities through our free Community Buildings Service which offers:

Email your query to info@cumbriaaction.org.uk and an ACT Officer will be in touch to help.

Become an ACT Supporter for your community building, to receive our Community Buildings Updates and event invitations.

Read ACT's Blog celebrating village halls and why they're important

National guidance 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 and model documents available free to halls in Cumbria. Check the list and contact us with your request.

Each ACRE information sheet covers a wide range of information, with useful appendices and model documents, and the titles don't always do them justice. Our Village Hall Managing Risks Toolkit includes a helpful summary of each, so you know which to choose. 

Bursary for Building Surveys

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, we're currently offering a bursary to community buildings for up to 90% of the cost of a Building Condition Survey and / or Energy Audit. Read more

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. Contact us to list your hall.

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. Read more

National Village Halls Week

Village Halls Week is an annual national campaign 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. Read more

Safeguarding in Village 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. Read more

Partnerships

ACT has partnered with A Muir Surveying; Easyfundraising; and Utility Aid to help your hall with professional building condition and energy surveys; online fundraising and saving money on your energy bills. Read more 

    What people say about ACT

    • It provides valuable information for village hall Trustees

      Bridget Mason

      Plumbland Village Hall

    • It is informative

      Patricia Thirlby

      Skelwith & District Community Centre

    • It is good to know that this organisation exists

      Pauline Boardman

      St. Cuthberts Church

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

      Sian Howe

      Clifton Village Hall

    • 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

      Hilary

      St Bees Village Hall

    • Provide reliable advice and information, easy to contact

      Emma Brocklebank

      Walton Village Hall

    • they keep people up to date with what is happening in other communities and village halls. ACT are really valuable for the help and advice that they offer.

      Janice Barker

      Harriston Village Hall CIO

    • Though we have quite a lot of work to do, I think we both felt reassured and you have given us very useful pointers. We will work on everything, if we have concerns or queries, we’ll get back to you

      Gill Sykes

      Casterton Village Hall

    • 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

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

      Gay Kelly

      Community Hall at Grizebeck

    Relevant Resources

    Guidance Sheets

    Research & Other Publications

    Toolkits & Workbooks

    • Guide To Funders 2023-2024

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

    • Warm Spots Toolkit

      Updated January 2024. 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. 

      First produced in October 2022 in response to the cost of living crisis, the Warm Spot Toolkit has been revised and updated for January 2024.

    • 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.

    • 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

    Videos

    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