Coronavirus and Village Halls

To reduce social contact, the government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close.

With the stricter government advice on the coronavirus being in force, halls should now be CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Last week, the Government released guidance on the closure of certain types of businesses and venues that were to cease trading from 23 March and clearly lists the ones affected by the new regulations.

'Community centres, youth centres and similar' (which will mean village halls) are on this list and have been ordered to close. There are however, some exceptions to this ruling that will permit certain essential activities to continue. You can view the full guidance HERE.

The exceptions affecting village and community halls are stated as:

"For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions. Public venues that host blood donation sessions can continue to open temporarily for these services only. A distance of two metres should be maintained as per Public Health England guidelines".

Some halls may host a variety of other essential voluntary or public services, such as community shops, Post Office services, medical surgeries, market stalls which offer essential grocery and food. If you are uncertain about what is classed as an essential service, please contact RAD for further advice.

If your hall is being used to deliver essential services, then managers need to ensure that they have followed all the necessary precautionary measures and are confident that service providers also adhere to the latest government advice. 

ACRE recommends that halls should conduct a thorough risk assessment when deciding whether to close or to offer limited access for essential services. Management decisions should be kept under constant review and properly recorded in the minutes.

For advice on what what to consider when carrying out a risk assessment, please refer to the advice in Helena's email on 31st March. A full copy of the email can be found HERE.

Staying safe from scammers during the Coronavirus outbreak

Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards team is urging residents to be extra vigilant and keep themselves safe from scammers during the coronavirus outbreak. 

For further advice and information on how to stay safe, visit their WEBSITE.

Financial Support for Businesses

The Government has set out a package of temporary and targeted measures to support businesses through this period of disruption which will be administered through local authorities. The letting of community spaces is generally the main trading income for charitable halls which, and with the majority now being closed, income is severely restricted. Community venues have been ordered to close apart from those halls providing specified essential services.

Local Authorities will be administering the business rate relief and grant support schemes (for eligible businesses with business premises) in each District or Borough area. Councils will begin contacting eligible businesses and issue further advice in due course.

**STOP PRESS - NEW UPDATE AS OF 3.00PM WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL:**

Revised BEIS guidance confirms that village halls/community buildings and similar charities already in receipt of full rate relief will be eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (if their Rateable Value is under £52.000).

S24: "Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL grant."

For more details of this and other business support available, please refer to the advice in Helena's email on 31st March. A full copy of the email can be found HERE.

Insurance cover

It is extremely unlikely that your village hall insurance covers loss of revenue.

Business interruption cover only comes into force 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.

Please contact your own insurer for clarification.

Derbyshire County Council - Community Response Unit

The Community Response Unit is co-ordinating a massive community response across the county to make sure vulnerable residents are supported through the coronavirus outbreak. Volunteers from over 200 different organisations will be able to help with shopping, fetching prescriptions or even having a chat over the phone isolated and vulnerable residents.

The Response Unit is looking to recruit more volunteers. Anyone who wants to help and is aged 18 to 70 and is fit and well can also visit the council website to register their interest. 

The Community Response Unit is asking for organisations and community groups who can offer support also to register on their website.

Resources to download:

Covid-19 Cyber and Fraud Information Sheet (28th March)

Allied Westminster Insurance issued this Coronavirus Statement (posted 26th March)

Covid-19 Recreation Equipment Closure Notice (posted 31 March 2020) 

  Posters: 

Our website has other useful pages for you to look at. Or contact Helena Stubbs, our Village Halls Advisor at [email protected].

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Update 16th March