What a start

Our first ever conference for village halls and community buildings was a great success. We had delegates, speakers and exhibitors from around the country coming together to focus on the issues.

It was lovely to meet so many people involved in the specialist yet unsung role of keeping community buildings open for business.

It was a great chance to share in networking and discussions about how to make these community spaces ‘Fit for the Future’! 

Tea and coffee breaks and a buffet lunch meant delegates had time to visit the exhibitor stands and network. 


The delegates feedback was that the speakers were thought provoking and informative. Of those that responded:

  • 100% said that the overall impression of the conference was either good or excellent.
  • 76% said that the conference was excellent value for money.
  • 90% said they had gained skills or knowledge to help their organisation
  • 76% said they had gained skills or knowledge to help them in their role
  • 70% said they had gained information on new products or services for their organisation
  • 66% said they had gained inspiration for the future 
  • 76% said they had new connections to follow up

During the morning session delegates worked in groups to come up with a list of priorities that they felt were key to helping their community buildings be 'Fit for the Future'. The mains headings were:

  • Technology
  • Financial
  • Community
  • Operation
  • We'd also like to.....
To see the full list of, click on the link below:



We had some great speakers covering a whole range of topics.  Digital opportunities was very exciting with Professor Katherine Willis showing how Cornwall had successfully delivered digital services to communities, followed by Cyber Crime and staying safe online. Two very thought provoking sessions.  

Insurance matters probably generated the most amount of delegate questions as Helen Hall from Allied Westminster highlighted some of the pitfalls, especially as the Emergency Planning presentation made everyone realise that the right insurance is not only a requirement, but an essential aid to help sort things out if there is an emergency.

The afternoon sessions covered community cohesion, the 'national voice' that can lobby on behalf of village halls and how funding can be found and how Parish Councils can work with halls and their community to get funding through a Public Works Loan.

All the presentations can be found below.

Cyber Security to protects your charity's data, assets and reputation

Digital Venue Toolkit

Insuring Buildings and Managing Risk

Emergency Crisis Planning

Community Safety & Cohesive Communities

National Village Halls Network

Parish Council funding and support for halls

Digital Questionnaire

Katharine Willis (Digital Venue Toolkit) would also appreciate it if you completed a quick survey to help inform her work at the University of Plymouth. You can follow this link to that survey here: 


Save the date

The conference will take place on Friday 8th November 2019 at the same venue - The Post Mill Centre, South Normanton (near Junction 28 of M1).

For any queries, questions, comments or feedback, please contact [email protected] or call 01629 592970.