Flexible, low-interest borrowing for rural halls

19.09.18

Charitably run community halls in rural areas can apply to the Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund, which is funded by Defra and managed by our national sister organisation ACRE.

Charities should be cautious about borrowing money, especially charitable trusts and other unincorporated organisations. If an unincorporated charity can’t pay its debts then the charity trustees (i.e. the management committee) will be liable for any debts that can’t be met from the charity’s own funds.

However, this Loan Fund run by ACRE is low-interest and has flexible repayment terms so it is worth considering, especially for projects that will either reduce your outgoings or increase your income. Such as:

  • Energy efficiency works e.g. having an energy audit, improving your insulation, installing new windows, fitting energy-efficient lighting, replacing the boiler / heating
  • Energy generation e.g. solar panels, heat pumps (probably ASHP – air source heat pumps – as the ground source versions need a lot of space)
  • Increasing your hall’s usage e.g. through refurbishment or other works on an under-used part of your building

Please contact ACRE in the first instance to check whether there is currently money available to lend, and then send your application to us here at Action Hampshire.

Public Works Loan Board: Also talk with your parish / town council (or borough councillor covering your area) to see if they might borrow from the PWLB to then grant you funds for major works. Again, this is particularly suitable for projects that will improve your organisation’s financial position, as it will help you become less reliant on your local council for financial support.