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Rural Services Network

Government funding gives village halls a new lease of life

The Times has reported that village halls are enjoying an unexpected resurgence amidst widespread set-backs for shops and other rural services.

Community halls that have been adapted have enjoyed renewed popularity by offering the space for coffee shops, concerts, yoga, outreach post offices, pop-up pubs, cinema evenings alongside traditional activities such as pre-schools and Women’s Institute meetings, life events and community events

The Government introduced a £3 million grant scheme for the refurbishment of village halls April last year and so far 21 halls have received grants, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In Quatt, a village in Shropshire with a population of 200, the hall has managed to stay relevant by offering a wider range of activities. Stephanie Hinton, hall secretary, said that the building, which dates back to 1908, is used by the model train group as well as for fitness classes including pole dancing.

In a bid to tackle isolation following the closure of the local shop and Post Office, a community group in Oxfordshire has opened a bustling café in their village hall selling homemade food, local produce, wine and refills for soap and shampoo bottles, all raised from donations and staffed by volunteers. The hall now has a space for table tennis, pilates, a film club, a sewing group and the local Women’s Institute.

Full article:

The Times - Pole dancing and pop?up pubs give village halls a new lease of life

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