National Village and Community Halls Network -  Bulletin 1
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        Bulletin 4
       January 2017


National Village and Community Halls Network


Welcome to the fourth Bulletin from the National Village and Community Halls Network.  

Please continue to send us any thoughts and comments and we will share them with the other village halls and interested organisations that have signed up.  For now please use this email address.

The National Village Halls Forum has now officially closed and we would like to thank the Executive Committee for all their hard work and for continuing to work with us to develop the National Village and Community Halls Network.

Please keep sending us your views on our 4 priorities:
  • VAT on extensions and alterations and the possibility of a VAT Refund Scheme.
  • How funding might best be sought for capital improvements. 
  • The delivery of long-term advice and support for volunteers managing buildings.
  • The disproportionate charge for music copyright licenses where music is rarely played.

Contact us here

Volunteers in the news

What would rural England look like without volunteer trustees managing England's 10,000 hall?  On 2nd January The Telegraph ran an item about the difficulty of recruiting young volunteers and followed this up by printing a letter from David Robins, a hall trustee from Sussex. Read the Telegraph article here.

This led to a flurry of publicity on local Radio Stations which some of you will have heard.  In particular Radio Gloucestershire featured a visit to a village hall every morning for a week.

Do take all opportunities to raise the profile of this Network and your own Hall including keeping your local MP well informed.  If MPs are well informed then they can contribute to discussions that may arise in the House of Commons, with Ministers and other MPs about issues in rural areas including the value of village and community halls. 

Budget Representation

Taking action on VAT on extensions and alterations for halls is a priority.  Deborah Clarke from ACRE and Louise Beaton, a founder member of this Network met with the Charity Tax Group this month to discuss what the possibilities may be.

As a result of the meeting a representation was made to the Treasury requesting consideration of a VAT refund or grant scheme.  Read the representation here.

Charity Tax Group - IPT increase

Thank you to those of you who have already completed the CTG survey responses are still welcome.  We encourage all hall committees to complete this short survey.

Background:   One of the headline announcements in the Autumn Statement was that the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise to 12% from 1 June 2017 (it is currently 10%).  Further information on IPT can be found here and in the previous Bulletin.


If your village hall committee uses Twitter to share information within your community and with other hall committees then please follow ACRE @acre_national  and use #villagehalls when tweeting.   


Members meet Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin MP

Mary Mathers, former Secretary for the National Village Hall Forum and Lois Rose, founder member of the Dorset Village Halls Association, met the Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin earlier this month.  He has been a loyal supporter of the National Village Hall Forum and of village halls across Dorset. They discussed the problems of VAT and encouraging younger people to get involved with the management of the village halls as well as discretionary rate relief. They discussed forming a group of MPs interested in village halls and agreed to provide a list to Sir Oliver Letwin of those who had been involved with the former National Village Halls Forum.

Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund

If you are considering undertaking a project, just started work or halfway through and you need a little more funding then it would be worth considering a loan from the Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund.  There is an easy to complete application form, low interest rate and a flexible repayment programme.  For more information contact your local ACRE Network member.
The National Village and Community Halls Network has the support of the ACRE Network.  It's Terms of Reference can be found here.  

ACRE and the Village and Community Halls Network will not provide advice, support and information for individual halls. This is provided by the local ACRE Network members.

More information about the work of the National Village and Community Halls Network can be found here.

Thank you to our sponsor

Our mailing address is:
Suite 109, Unit 9, Cirencester Office Park, Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JJ

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