Halting the decline of village halls is the aim as rural affairs department DEFRA launches a new online information hub entitled 'Community Halls for Rural People' on its website.
The website has been designed to help countryside communities to benefit from the variety of funding opportunities available for community halls. It has information and links to funding sources such as the National Lottery and local authorities, as well as other advice for those running local community buildings where rural people meet, or would like to meet in the future.
Rural Affairs Minister, Jim Knight, welcomed the launch of the website, saying: "Successful village halls provide an impressive range of services and activities to meet the needs of their local communities, such as health services and sports, as well as the traditional social pursuits".
The website has been developed in consultation with Action with Communities in Rural England, and has links to the 38 Rural Community Councils who have expertise in advising on best practice for managing rural community buildings.
It is a resource that DEFRA hopes will help the dedicated people who run village halls to find out, quickly and easily, how they can access a whole range of funding, services and advice. It will provide them with a means of sharing their experiences of applying for and securing funding.
'Community Halls for Rural People' can be accessed at www.defra.gov.uk/rural/communities/halls