Opening your community building after lockdown
Covid-19 guidance for community halls and centres
This is our page of covid-19 guidance for the charity trustees and staff of community buildings. For our community buildings guidance home page please click here.
26 March: new guidance from ACRE
ACRE has updated its guidance on re-opening community buildings, in the light of the Government’s roadmap for lifting lockdown through spring 2021.
Several of the appendices have been updated, including the risk assessment (RA) templates. There is also a summary of when different activities will be allowed. Download all these documents using the links below:
Covid-19 guidance appendices 2021 03 26th (zip folder)
Financial forecasting template spreadsheets
To help you plan for the future and see what impact the pandemic is likely to have on your organisation’s finances going forward, here are two template spreadsheets you can use:
A visual guide to making community buildings safe
It’s great to see Wickham Community Centre being used as a case study in this guide, so thanks to Centre Manager Kate English for her valuable contribution.
One-off grant for closed premises – Jan 2021
The Government has made available one-off grants to support organisations whose premises have been forced to close (which should include community buildings, even if they’re still open for a few exempt activities). It’s from £4,000 to £9,000 and eligibility is as per the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum – more on that below under ‘Financial support for community buildings’.
Please contact your district / borough council’s business support / rates team about this new grant – the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, or CBLP. In case you need it, the national guidance for local authorities is below:
Visit > Guidance document for local authorities.
The multi-purpose community facilities guidance was updated on 12 April.
The home page for all the Government guidance and information on the pandemic is below
Visit > https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Spring 2021 roadmap of provisional dates for gradually lifting the lockdown restrictions
Visit > https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021
Guidance on when businesses and premises will be allowed to open as restrictions are eased
Visit > https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-businesses-and-venues-in-england
General guidance for charities
The Charity Commission has a page for guidance on charity meetings, financial issues and other topics.
More information > Charity Commission covid-19 guidance
Financial support for community buildings
The furlough scheme is due to run until the end of September.
More information > Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough)
Suppport for organisations with premises
There is financial support for organisations with premises that have closed or suffered greatly reduced income. Most community centres and halls have been able to access support from your district / borough council through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum, as long as you meet the other criteria.
Please email Kevin Sawers or call 01962 857358 if you feel your organisation and premises meet the criteria but your application has been rejected.
(Note – premises outside the rate-paying system, such as places of worship, are not eligible for this scheme. However, premises that have a rateable value but don’t pay rates because their local council applies the full discount are eligible.)
Grants for non-qualifying premises
Discretionary support is also available, through the Additional Restrictions Grant – also delivered through district / borough or unitary authorities. This will be of interest to organisations which aren’t eligible for the LRSG scheme noted above, like churches that own (or lease) places of worship. When applying, we suggest you make it clear to your council that your organisation was viable before the pandemic but needs their support to get through the current period.
Government’s guidance for local councils regarding both these schemes:
More information > Lockdown support grants guidance for local councils
With all these schemes, do let us know how you get on – please email Kevin Sawers or call 01962 857358.
Comments, queries, and further support
We gratefully acknowledge ACRE’s tireless work in preparing this guidance document, and all the other resources they supply for community halls and centres.
Please see ‘Specialist resources for community buildings’ for details of these other documents and how to access them. Action Hampshire can help in other ways too – with regular news bulletins and a membership offer.
Please contact Kevin Sawers (by email or on 01962 857358) with any queries. You can also contact Kevin if you would like to join our online discussion forum, where you can raise queries and share ideas with over 170 community hall / centre managers and trustees.
We use the Basecamp system – see this short guide and video for more info.