Community Halls

Community Halls

Community Halls

Well-used and well-managed community halls are vital local assets. The range of activities that these halls support is astonishingly varied, bringing in important sources of local revenue and contributing to community resilience and the maintenance of a vibrant sense of place. Community First Oxfordshire employs a Community Halls Adviser, who provides advice and support to almost 300 community hall and community centre committees across Oxfordshire.

CFO offers advice on a huge range of governance, general operations, refurbishment, insurance and energy efficiency topics. In addition, our grant funding advice continues to be crucial to a hall committee’s ability to meet the needs of their users. In 2014, CFO launched an online Community Halls Directory, which enables clients to easily locate and hire community buildings. This highly visible (and free!) marketing initiative continues to generate much-needed new income for halls.

Recent Articles

Village Halls Week – 22nd to 28th January 2019

 Village Halls week has been created by our umbrella organisation Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) as a way to celebrate your local village hall and to increase the profile of village halls in general by spreading the news about what goes on in them.

It will be great if you could let me know what events or activities you have coming up, so that I can highlight them on our website and through social media. You can also use the #VillageHallsWeek on through your own social media if you are keen! It really is a great opportunity to bring to attention the fantastic role the village hall plays in the community and how diverse some of the activities on offer are.    Please remember that If your hall is on Twitter please follow @VillageHalls_Wk during the week.

 Also the hashtag #VillageHallsWeek will be used on Facebook and Instagram for all posts during the week in order to link activities across the counties of England.

Please also look out a new blog post on the ACRE website everyday throughout the week

Geocaching – the village hall series

Do you know what Geocaching is?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants (Geocachers) use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”). The world’s biggest treasure hunt!   Here is some more information about it

Did you know that there is a village hall series of Geocaches? And that for the second year running the series will be celebrating Village Halls Week.  A profile badge will be offered for finding a cache and also for hosting or attending a Village hall Week Event.

Here is a list of the Village Hall Geocaching Events published for Village Hall Week 2019.

Community Halls Newsletter

Community First Oxfordshire produces a regular community halls newsletter.  The newsletter has useful advice and information for anyone managing a village or community hall.

Recent Newsletters:

Community Buildings Newsletter WinterSpring 2019

Community Halls Newsletter Autumn 2018

Community Halls Newsletter Spring 2018

Community Halls Newsletter Winter 2017



Latest Funding Opportunities

Community First Oxfordshire compiles a Funding Information Sheet. This gives an ‘at a glance’ run-down of currently available grants and funding opportunities which may be able to assist your community building refurbishment and improvement project.

For more information contact Tessa Hall, our Community Halls Adviser.


‘Without the helpful advice from CFO I don’t think our management committee and volunteers would have achieved so much. For example, we asked for advice on insurance and saved over £500. Knowing that helpful advice is just an email or a phone call away is very reassuring.’  South Oxfordshire Village Hall

‘I have found CFO a wonderful and almost sole source of advice with the task of managing a village hall, great institution.’ Cherwell village hall

‘CFO advice and support of grant processes enabled us to raise £200k in grants and donations.’  South Oxfordshire Village Hall

‘I thought you would like to know that following your newsletter at end of 2013 we moved our insurance to Norris and Fisher and are saving over £1000 per year.’ Cassington Village Hall       

‘[The WREN funding workshop] was very helpful, a good mix of information, discussion and an opportunity to network.’ Piddington Village Hall


ACRE Information Sheets

Copies of ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) Information Sheets are available at a cost of £3.00 each + postage. If your organisation is an affiliated member of Community First Oxfordshire these can be emailed free of charge.

1. Planning Fees for Village Halls – (January 2016 )
2. Parish Council Help for Village Halls – (February 2015)
3. Providing services in village halls – (February 2015)
4. Withdrawn
5. Village Halls and Children and Young People – (Oct 2012)
6. Village Halls and registration for VAT – (January 2014)
7. Village Halls Insurance Cover – (December 2013)
8. Storage in village halls – (May 2014)
9. Entertainment in village halls (January 2016)
10. Alcohol in Village Halls – (February 2011)
11. The Charities Act 2011 – (September 2013)
12. Village Halls and Car Parks (September 2013)
13. Withdrawn
14. Asbestos – (May 2015)
15. Health & Safety Legislation and Village Halls (December 2011)
16. Withdrawn
17. Trustees – Roles and Responsibilities – (February 2015)
18. VAT on Building Work etc.- (May 2011)
19. Marketing your Village Hall – (January 2016)
20. Health and Hygiene in Village Halls (February 2011)
21. Overnight Accommodation in halls – (February 2011)
22. Managing Employees and Volunteers – (May 2015)
23. Steps to funding the fabric of Village Halls (February 2011)
24. Village halls,, rates, waste and water – (May 2015)
25. Making your village hall accessible – (April 2012)
26. Coping with VAT on Fuel and Power supplies – (February 2011)
27. Village Halls and social Clubs – (February 2011)
28. Creating a Business Plan – (February 2011)
29. Bingo in Village Halls – (February 2011)
30. Village Hall heating – (November 2013)
31. Village Hall flooring – (February 2011)
32. Recruiting and retaining volunteers – (January 2016)
33. Gaming and Lotteries – (February 2011)
34. Sale of Goods in Village Halls – (February 2011)
35. Trustee Indemnity Insurance – (September 2013)
36. Village Halls run by Parish Councils as Sole Trustee – (February 2015)
37. Fire Safety in Village Halls – (April 2015)
38. Short guide to security in your Village Hall – (January 2016)
39. Village Halls and Incorporation – (September 2013)
40. Village Halls, governing documents and title deeds – (September 2013)
41. Accounting and Village Halls – (January 2016)
42. Equality in village halls – (July 2012)

Community First Oxfordshire Publications

  1. A – Z Fundraising Ideas
  2. Building Maintenance Checklist
  3. Business Plan
  4. Calculating maximum people to occupy your hall
  5. Charity Trustees: Responsibilities of (Guidelines)
  6. Contacting the Charity Commission
  7. DDA – Accessible Toilets
  8. E-cigarettes
  9. Energy Audit – Basic check list
  10. Energy Conservation – summary of recommendations
  11. Fire Safety in Village Halls
  12. Fire Action and Evacuation Plan
  13. Floors – care of wooden floors
  14. Floors – suppliers known to CFO
  15. Fundraising: Getting Your Thoughts Together
  16. Getting more people involved in Committee
  17. Group Buying Scheme for utilities
  18. Health and Safety in and around the Village Hall – checklist
  19. Help available for village hall building projects (grants etc)
  20. Hire Charges
  21. Induction Loops: facts sheet and list of suppliers
  22. Insurance companies known to CFO
  23. Keeping village hall charity documents and records
  24. Marketing your Hall
  25. Planning Village Hall Improvements and grant applications
  26. Points to remember when planning to submit a grant application
  27. Professional design advice
  28. Recently Built Village Halls
  29. Reserves Policy
  30. Risk Assessment
  31. Sample poster to encourage more people to join committee
  32. Security of Hall
  33. Smoke Free Regulations
  34. Snow Clearing
  35. Successful Village Hall Management
  36. Top tips for village hall committee members
  37. Top tips for running an effective management committee
  38. Top tips to running your hall safely
  39. VAT reclaim on village hall building projects
  40. VAT zero rating – disabled access/new build/self-contained annex
  41. Village and Community Halls as Conference and Training Venues

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