Guidance on eligibility for financial support - COVID-19

RAD and the ACRE Network have been working hard to support village halls during this difficult time. The ACRE website sets out what they have been doing but also provides guidance regarding your hall's eligibility for financial support. The majority of village halls will be eligible for the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant and 100% rate relief but not the Small Business Grant.

Business Rate Relief and Grant Support Schemes

Local Authorities are administering the business rate relief and grant support schemes (for eligible businesses with business premises) in each District or Borough Council area. They are being guided by the 'Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy' on Grant Funding Schemes for small businesses and the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The approach on the administration of support grants to village halls however, differs between local authority areas and there doesn't appear to be consistency across the county.

How do charitable village halls access it? 

Depending upon which district you are located in, you will be invited to apply either by:

  1. sending letters to all eligible businesses inviting them to apply, or
  2. asking businesses to apply online via their respective websites

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)

The RHLG is £10,000 for premises with a rateable value up to £15,000 and £25,000 for premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000. You can find your rateable value at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website under the business section, by entering the hall’s postcode or rating reference. You should receive application forms from your local (rating) authority, which you will need to complete and return. Click here for more information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector

Charitable village halls are obviously concerned about maintaining their usual management practices and charity requirements during the coronavirus shutdown. The government hasn't yet announced any plans on the lifting of restrictions, but have indicated that they may introduce a phased approach to the lifting of movements. Some government messages indicate that the hospitality and leisure sector will not be a priority for easing restrictions and therefore suggests that village halls will remain closed for the unforeseeable future.

In order for charitable village halls to remain compliant, the Charity Commission has published guidance on interim measure during the coronavirus outbreak. Amongst the guidance, you can follow advice on your charity's operational issues such as the using of reserves and restricted funds, AGMs and other meetings (postponing or can cancelling), charity commission returns, holding meetings online, etc.

Charity Commission guidance for the charitable sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Filing charity annual returns during the coronavirus

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