Village halls across England are set to benefit from a major new refurbishment fund launched by the Government today (28 May 2022) to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
At the heart of rural life and communities, village halls host fitness classes, morning coffees, community groups, garage sales, art clubs and postal services – even in the most remote locations. . They often provide the only place where a community can meet and socialize locally and are essential in combating loneliness, providing a lifeline for those unable to travel long distances.
The new £3million grant fund announced today will be a significant boost for rural communities with 125 village halls set to benefit, enabling vital upgrades and improvements.
Bigger, brighter and contemporary spaces will encourage more people to use their party rooms and bring people together.
Lord Benyon, Minister for Rural Affairs said:
The village halls are the centerpiece of rural life and funding their refurbishment to mark the Jubilee is a fitting tribute to the Queen’s service.
In a changing world, they are important facilities for community groups, social clubs and local services. This funding will assure them a central place in the fabric of our villages for many years to come.
Margaret Clark CBE, Chair of the Rural Coalition, said:
The village halls are the focal point of village life. They support important services and facilities and provide meeting places that would otherwise not be available to many rural communities. In doing so, they have a crucial role to play in contributing to the upgrading of rural areas.
I welcome the new Platinum Jubilee Fund, announced today, which will enable more party venues to improve and modernize their premises, so that they can continue to meet the needs of their communities in the years to come.
David Emerson CBE, chair of Action with Communities in Rural England, said:
We are delighted to know that through this capital funding program, the Government is renewing its support for village halls in this jubilee year. At the heart of rural communities for over a century, these unique volunteer-run halls do much to support the well-being of local residents, as well as help maintain the many livelihoods that depend on the use of these important buildings.
It’s a particularly fitting announcement on the week when thousands of venues across the country hold local Royal Jubilee celebrations.
Chris Cowcher, Policy Manager, Plunkett Foundation:
The Platinum Jubilee Renovation Fund for party rooms is cause for celebration! Many village halls host community-owned businesses such as local shops, markets and post offices, they create a real beating heart for their villages which not only provide vital services but reach people vulnerable, isolated and alone. We hope this fund will support more community businesses and simply help rural areas prosper.
The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund will provide grants over three years (until 2025) to support village hall capital improvement projects, such as installing Wi-Fi, building extensions and modernization of facilities.
Today’s announcement builds on previous government support for village halls. Defra has supported the upgrading of village halls in England through the previous Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund (VHIGF). This fund, launched in 2019, has supported modernization projects for 125 village halls, which, combined with other sources of funding, have resulted in improvements to village halls worth over £17 million.
The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund will build on the success of programs to commemorate both Queen Victoria and King George, and demonstrate that nearly 200 years later, we continue to build on the legacy of monarchy, past and present with another 125 village halls that will perpetuate this legacy.
Details on how the funding will be administered will be announced in due course.