Community Buildings

Providing support and guidance for community buildings and village halls in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes

Community buildings and village halls are often at the heart of rural communities, providing essential services and activities to the local area.

As the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire and member of Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), we offer a Community Buildings Subscription Service providing light touch advice and information to community building management committees.

Subscriber benefits include:

  • E-bulletins about issues that matter to community buildings and village halls, including the latest funding opportunities.
  • Instant notifications on relevant community building opportunities and events.
  • Village Hall Management Healthcheck document – a key checklist highlighting the legal requirements and good practice for your village hall, from managing the premises, to managing a charity, staff, volunteers, and finances.
  • Regular Zoom Meetings – providing advice and information, and an opportunity to meet other community building representatives and share knowledge and experiences.
  • Access to an exclusive Facebook group – providing an online discussion forum for members to ask each other questions and share ideas and experiences.
  • Advice and information service including one-to-one telephone and email support on a range of issues including insurance, building work, employment, health and safety, governance, constitutions, and volunteers.
  • Services of a specialist volunteer who can provide up to 4 hours support and advice for more complex issues on a case-by-case basis.
  • Free access to 42 National Village Hall information sheets from ACRE (normally £10 each) and model documents. Full details of the sheets available can be found on the ACRE Publications Nov 2023.
  • Membership of the National Village & Community Halls Network – providing a route for management committees to lobby and influence relevant government policy and legislation.

The subscription fee is £70 for the year from 1 April 2024 – 31 March 2025. To find out more and to subscribe, please complete the subscription form or email Frankie on

Information Sheets and Model Documents

Our umbrella organisation, ACRE, publishes a set of information sheets and model documents specifically written for village and community halls.  View the full list of what is available via the ACRE Publication Order Form Nov 23.

Information Sheets: these sheets cover a whole range of topics (42 in total).  Subjects covered include insurance, safeguarding, parish council help for village halls, VAT, health and safety, accounts and much, much more.

Electronic copies of the information sheets are free to all Community Building Subscribers.  A copy can be requested by emailing at or calling 01844 617218.

Non-members are charged £10.

Model documents: these template documents are produced with expert input from solicitors specialising in charity law and are free to all Community Building Subscribers by email. A copy can be requested by emailing or calling 01844 617218.

Model documents include:

    • Model hiring agreement
    • Occupational licence (including a version to use with pre-schools)
    • Lease of land and trust deed
    • Transfer of freehold land and trust deed
    • Charitable Incorporated Organisation model constitution for a village hall (with template lease or land transfer document)
    • Articles of Association for a village hall

Electronic copies of the model documents are free to all Community Building Subscribers.  A copy can be requested by emailing at or calling 01844 617218.

Non-members are charged £35/40.

Funding support

Grants available to village halls

In 2022, a £3 million village halls fund was announced to provide support for the modernisation and improvement of village halls in England. In the 2024 Spring Budget, this was uplifted by a further £5 million.

Managed by Action with Rural Communities in England (ACRE), the fund has already awarded over £1 million to rural communities, helping them undertake ambitious improvements to their buildings. Works undertaken or scheduled to take place include new roofs, insulation, extensions, and more energy-efficient heating systems.

There are currently two grant schemes available to village halls. Details of how to apply can be found on the ACRE website.

Both schemes cover up to 20% of eligible project costs and project expenditures must occur before 31 March 2025.

Details about how to apply for the small grants scheme can be found on the ACRE website. 

Other funding opportunities

Through our Community Buildings Subscription Service, we can help you find grants and other funding opportunities to enable you to maintain and improve your community building or village hall:

Safeguarding advice and contacts

It’s sometimes said that village hall charities do not have much responsibility for ensuring people using the venue are safe from harm, because that is up to the organisers of all the different activities that take place in halls.  Obviously, it is true that hirers have a key role in ensuring (as best they can) the safety and wellbeing of their participants, but the village hall committee has an important role too.

Guidance and information leaflets:

Safeguarding training opportunities and local contacts:

Training and Networking for Community Buildings

Facebook Group: we provide an online discussion forum on Facebook for members to ask each other questions and share ideas and experiences.  Email or call 01844 617218 if you would like to join the closed group.

Community Buildings Zoom Sessions: we run regular online events where you can meet and share ideas with other people running community halls and centres. These sessions are your opportunity to discuss and share information on everything related to community buildings with other management committees in Bucks.

The next Community Buildings meeting will be held in June.  Further details will be available nearer the time.

Zoom sessions are free to all Community Building Subscribers.  From 1 April 2024 Non-members will be invited to attend.  Non members are charged £30 per session.

For future sessions we would like to focus on key topics of interest.  Please can you let us know what topics you would like to see covered at future sessions?  Email your suggestions to 

Local Voluntary Sector Networks: if you would like to the opportunity to network with other organisations in Buckinghamshire, Community Impact Bucks is hosting a series of online forums for Bucks-based charities, voluntary and community groups, and social enterprises to share information and collaborate on the local issues that matter most.

These free forums – Local Voluntary Sector Networks – provide an informal space where not-for-profit organisations can discuss local needs and explore opportunities for change in local communities. Find our more on our Local Voluntary Sector Network.

Training:  for training opportunities, please visit our events page.

Promoting Village Halls - Village Halls Week 2024

Celebrating Village Halls Week 

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes community buildings and village halls joined together to celebrate the first national Village Halls Week in January 2018, to celebrate the vital role they play in sustaining rural communities. Subsequent years have seen further events celebrating the important role that community buildings and village halls play in our community.

The annual week-long celebration, organised by ACRE Network, England’s largest network of rural community support organisations, is to say a collective “thank you” to all volunteers who work tirelessly to keep community buildings and village halls open for the benefit of local residents.

A recap on Village Halls Week 2024: Help for community buildings to ‘go green’

From 18th to 24th March, community buildings across Buckinghamshire considered how they could save energy and work with groups in their community to contribute to Net Zero as part of Village Halls Week 2024 led by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

New guidance published by ACRE outlined what could 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.

Management committees running Buckinghamshire’s community buildings can find advice on taking steps to become more energy efficient and sustainable below:

Help Managing Rising Energy Bills

Community Impact Bucks has received many enquiries from halls about reducing energy costs. A simple and effective way to do this is to use an energy broker to check you are on the best tariffs.

Community Impact Bucks has chosen to partner with Utility Aid* as it specifically works with village and community halls and has worked with ACRE (our national body) for several years. If you use the Utility Aid service, Community Impact Bucks will receive a small commission which helps fund our work.

How to work with Utility Aid

  1. Go to our unique page on Utility Aid’s website by clicking on Utility Aid’s contact form.
  2. You will be offered the following:
    • A free desktop audit which will identify any discrepancies on invoices including consumption fluctuations, inaccurate billing, incorrect VAT, incorrect tariff, general anomalies.
    • Bespoke tailormade quotations centred around your organisations usage, budget, and appetite for risk
  3. If you decide to proceed with one of the offers available, Utility Aid will carry out the switching process for you. Once your contract is in place you will receive full account management, query resolution and invoice validation for the duration of contract

When contacting Utility Aid, please use the reference “Community Impact Bucks” and let us know about your experience. If you have any queries please contact  Frankie Hockham,  our Village Halls Adviser or Emily Berry, Utility Aid’s Partnership Manager.

Phone: 0808 1788 170

*There is no obligation to use Utility Aid. There are over 70 energy brokers in the UK; it is important to find an energy broker that suits your needs and offers the services you require. Find a list of energy brokers:

More information

If you are interested in learning more about Utility Aid and the services it offers to village and community halls, have a look at a recording of a recent event where the Utility Aid team talk about how they can help you reduce your energy costs. You can access the recording by visiting How to manage rising energy cost with Utility Aid Webinar.

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society