Village halls and community buildings grant programme specification

Programme aims

The village halls and community buildings grant programme aims to improve facilities and accessibility in community buildings and village halls, leading to greater community participation and levels of volunteering. The fund will support improvements to buildings and purchases of large capital equipment.

Who can apply

The fund is open to not-for-profit organisations including charities, voluntary and community groups, faith groups and social enterprises, who operate village halls and community buildings that are available for use by the whole community.

What will be funded

Capital funding is available for applications that meet the priorities of the UK shared prosperity fund village halls and community buildings grant programme and that can demonstrate that the work will deliver the programme’s aim to increase access to and use of the buildings.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • costs relating to essential or urgent repairs and maintenance
  • external and internal improvements to the community building or village hall that improve accessibility and use, for example installation of access ramps, disabled or gender-neutral toilets; baby changing facilities, hearing loops etc
  • fixtures, fittings and large pieces of equipment
  • general decoration and refurbishment costs

Please note that applicants need to provide evidence of the following:

  • building ownership or a long-term (minimum 20 years) lease, along with landlord’s permission for the project where applicable
  • any planning, licencing or other regulatory consents required for this project

As the funding window for this grant fund is short it is essential that organisations have any relevant planning consents in place prior to submitting their application.

Application and funding exclusions

As this scheme is funded by Rural England Prosperity Fund, projects in Scarborough, Harrogate and Knaresborough are unfortunately not eligible.

Applications from businesses and individuals are not eligible for this fund.

Please note: any organisation is limited to making one application only to this fund, up to the maximum amount available. However, this can include applications that have a number of separate elements and/or those which will be completed in phases.

Ineligible expenditure includes:

  • recoverable VAT
  • costs related to buildings or improvements not available for use by the whole community, for example costs related to buildings or parts of buildings whose sole use is for political or religious purposes
  • projects that aim to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, may be referred to the UK shared prosperity fund community climate action grants programme

As this scheme is funded by Rural England Prosperity Fund, projects in Scarborough, Harrogate and Knaresborough are not eligible.

If you have any questions about eligible expenditure, please contact to discuss your application further. 

Funding available

The total funding available for this fund is as follows:

  • 2024/2025 - £350,000

Grants of between £5,000 and £49,950 are available.

Match funding requirement

A minimum of 20% match funding is required.

Match funding can be in 'cash' or 'in kind', for example using volunteer time.

Outputs and outcomes

Projects should aim to achieve a quantity of outputs and outcomes that is proportionate to the amount of funding being requested. 

Applications to this programme should show how projects will achieve at least one, or a combination, of: 

  • increased volunteering opportunities created as a result of the grant
  • increased events or activities delivered in the building as a result of the funded projects
  • increased numbers of new people using the facility (number of new unique users)

Applications should confirm the numbers of outputs and outcomes that the project will achieve.

Applications should demonstrate clearly why the project requires UK shared prosperity fund community buildings and village halls support, and at the level requested.

Type of projects that will be given priority

We will assess all applications fairly and competitively based on:

  • alignment with the eligibility criteria listed under the ‘who can apply’ section
  • alignment with the purpose outlined under each programme and a review of outputs/outcomes
  • the likelihood of your project being delivered within specified timeframe

Programme procurement requirements

Two quotes must be provided for any individual works exceeding £25,000. Below this level, demonstration that value for money has been sought will be required.

Programme monitoring and evaluation requirements

All monitoring and evaluation requirements will be fully outlined in any successful applicants grant agreement. This will include bi-annual monitoring, and an end of project evaluation. Please note that an award may be subject to additional monitoring and evaluation arrangements as required.

When do projects need to be completed by?

For awards made in the 2023/24 financial year, applicants will have to demonstrate, by Spring 2024, that significant progress has been made towards completing the project.

For awards made in the 2024/25 financial year, projects must be completed by 31 March 2025.

Application appraisal methods and award timescales

Full applications and any associated supporting information should be submitted outlining the prospective project. These will then be screened for basic eligibility checks before being considered by the UK shared prosperity fund community buildings and village halls panel.

All awards will be subject to a grant agreement, which will outline any specific terms and conditions, and monitoring and evaluation requirements. Payments will be made in advance in line with the agreed payment schedule set out in your grant agreement.

Opening date for applications

1 November 2023.

Closing date for applications

All applications must be in by the 31 May 2024. A panel will be held in Mid-June to award the final tranche of funding.

How to apply

You do not need to complete a pre-application form for this programme.

Please complete a full application form which is available on the UK Shared Prosperity fund webpage in the application process section.

There are two application forms: one for requests of £25,000 and below, and one for requests over £25,000. Please use and complete the application form which corresponds to the amount of funding you are requesting.

Additional information

Find out if you need planning permission and apply for minerals and waste or council planning.

Building control in your area.