Covid-19 advice for Village Halls

Advice for village halls and community buildings 

Village halls & community centres that were not hosting essential services may re-open from 4 July.  Advice from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities

The “Expanded Retail Discount Relief”, or extension of Business Rates relief, applies to charitable halls and CASCs, meaning that you should receive 100% rate relief this year. (In case of query by local authorities: Clause 7 and 12 (ii) of the Guidance collectively apply, the reference to the Local Govt Act 1988, section 47 is to their powers to grant discretionary relief. The Government will reimburse local authorities for the discretionary relief). The full guidance is here.

Information about the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant is available here.  Your local authority will be able to advise about eligibility and how any grant money may be used.

A new Covid-19 discretionary fund for small/micro businesses is available via local authorities to cover buildings or property costs for organisations with fewer than 50 employees, including charity properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief

Regarding cancellation of any bookings follow the steps in their hiring agreement and activities, contact your insurance company to discuss what may be covered under your insurance policy regarding cancellation of events.
If you are hosting a formal meeting, such as an AGM, NCVO has provided comprehensive advice.

Village Hall Insurance
Information from Norris & Fisher
We have received a number of enquiries as to whether Village Halls would be insured should they be forced to cancel activities or if hirers cancel their bookings owing to COVID-19. The Business Interruption cover under the policy would not provide cover for this type of loss so there is no insurance for loss of earnings. If there were to be a pandemic it would be beyond the capability of insurers to pay for such losses.

Information from ​Allied Westminster
Loss of revenue cover comes into force only after damage to property caused by an insured peril. It is designed to cover loss of income when the hall is closed for a period of time in order for repairs to be carried out. Unfortunately, if the hall has to be closed due to a breakout of the virus, no property damage has occurred so there is no business interruption cover in place. Property insurers would not cover closure due to pandemic.

Protecting Your Village/Community Hall at this time:

There are some considerations that should be kept in mind to protect their assets and people:
Risk assessments must be carried out on the changing risk/lack of supervision in place
Heating left ‘ticking-over’ but other critical services powered down if not required, unless to support protection or detection systems
All external areas must be clear of waste and combustible materials
Consider waste build-up and the controls needed if waste collection services are affected
All fire protection, detection, and security systems to remain active and monitored remotely where possible
Maintenance on all protection and/or detection systems (where in place) must be a priority to protect the property
All physical security and locking devices are working and in place
There are no leaking fluids or spills

22 Comments on “Covid-19 advice for Village Halls”

    1. surreyca

      Following the advice released by the Government yesterday which advised that only essential premises remain open, village halls are advised to close

  1. Dawn

    I have been challenged by people saying it is wrong to run dance classes for children in the village hall where I live.
    Do we take away all these small activities, or do I continue with the dance classes?
    Their argument is that this kind of activity falls in line with Leisure Centres, Pubs, Restaurants which have been made to close.
    I have taken the advice given by the Government regarding additional measures to help reduce the risk and they have been implemented.
    Do I take from this that what I do falls under these categories?

    1. surreyca

      Following the latest Government advice which stipulates which premises should remain open, village halls should now close their premises.

  2. R J Caldwell

    We have a concert in early June with about 80 audience and performers. Hall is in village of Badby and event inevitably brings people in close contact. Should we consider postponement or is it expected that restrictions will be lifted by then?

  3. Gill

    We are looking to set up a badminton court in the village hall for people to use for their daily exercise. Only one family house hold allowed in a day to play for one hour. Anti bacterial wipes and spray is provided to clean racquets before and after and to wipe handles and lights on exit.

    Would this be allowed?

  4. Lesley Haylett

    Hi can you please tell me if there is a grant we can claim for a small village hall as we have been forced to close. We are registered as a charity.
    Thank you

  5. Heather

    Our Scout hall is in receipt of a £10,000 Small Business Grant Fund. No information has been given by the Council, it was deposited into our account without notice.

    Are we (the Halls Management Committee) entitled to spend it as we see fit, or are the ways it can be utilised prescribed? (We currently have no income and will need this money to pay our rent, but we have other expenses to meet as well. ).

    Ifn theory if there was any excess not required to cover rent and business expenses, would that be clawed back? Or would any excess retained be taxable? We do not currently pay tax as a charity
    Thank you.

  6. P

    My child’s preschool runs from a village hall will it be safe to reopen and would it be open to all the groups that rent it ?
    Cleanliness is my concern after so many people using it

    1. surreyca

      We’ve just shared some guidance to village halls about re-opening for nurseries and pre-schools. You could also check with Surrey County Council.

  7. clare bamford

    hi i run a small nursery out of a community center has any date been given as to when community centers will be able to open again

  8. trevor forshaw

    can a hall committee meet to hold a trustee meeting to discuss the future of the hall when this epidemic is over there a 7 members and we can observe the distancing requirement

  9. Abi White

    Am I allowed to use the village hall for my daughter to keep up her training. My daughter and I are from 1 household and nobody else would be there with us.
    I’m not clear if the restrictions on village hall have been erased to allow this now?

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