Village Halls Week, national awareness week celebrating village halls in UK

Buckinghamshire’s village halls encouraged to ‘go green’

Guide to help village halls published to mark start of Village Halls Week 2024

Rural community buildings across the county will be considering how they can save energy and work with groups in their community to contribute to Net Zero this week as part of a national campaign led by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

Run almost entirely by volunteers, village halls are a cornerstone of rural community life in Buckinghamshire providing what are often the only spaces where people can meet and socialise locally. They also sustain many livelihoods connected with use of the venue.

However, over the past couple of years many halls have struggled to meet increasing energy bills – indeed many buildings are old, off the gas grid and difficult to heat.

Guidance published today by ACRE outlines what can be done to improve the energy efficiency of village halls through measures such as decarbonising buildings, improving insulation, replacing heating systems and generating their own energy.

The free guide features the decarbonisation project undertaken by Buckinghamshire’s Haddenham Village Hall to reduce their energy bills and create a warmer, more comfortable hall. Work included replacing the old gas-fired warm air unit with an air source heat pump which has re-used existing ducting, insulating the roof, and installing solar panels and EV car charging points.  The guide can be downloaded from ACRE’s website.

“We understand how important community buildings and village halls are to local Bucks communities, offering essential spaces which act as local hubs for social, educational, and recreational activities in the county,” said Frankie Hockham, Buckinghamshire’s Community Buildings adviser.

“By taking on Net Zero initiatives, village halls can help save the environment but also reduce operational costs and create healthier spaces which will be used for generations to come. These projects can be daunting – planning, securing funding and implementing them – but, as the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire, we can help local community buildings become more energy efficient.”

Other examples of Buckinghamshire community buildings taking steps to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly are:

The publication of the design guidance marks the beginning of Village Halls Week, an annual campaign that aims to raise the profile of village halls and celebrate the contribution they make to rural community life. The theme this year is ‘go green!’ which is examining the contribution that village halls can play in the transition to Net Zero.

As the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire, Community Impact Bucks supports community buildings and village halls in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes on all aspects of running a community building. Management committees can find out more about this support by visiting the Community Buildings Subscription Service.


Notes to editors

  • For any media enquiries, please contact Rachel or Chanel at Community Impact Bucks 01844 617216.
  • Community Impact Bucks is a local charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make Buckinghamshire a better place to live. We do this in three ways: by helping people find volunteering opportunities; advising charities and other not-for-profit groups on all aspects of running their organisation; and by directly supporting those most in need in our Buckinghamshire communities.
  • As the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire, we support community buildings and village halls in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes on all aspects of running a community building through the Community Buildings Subscription Service.
  • Village & Community Halls: A Net Zero Design Guide is available for free from: