Community Building Resources

On this page, we're collecting lots of useful information and guides, to help you with managing your community building. This page is constantly being updated - if something you need is not available check back later or call us on 0845 313 0270.

We have Village Hall Information Sheets and Model Documents available on a wide range of subjects. These documents are only available to RAY members. If you are not a RAY member you can access them on payment of a fee, or you can get unlimited access by joining us! Find out more on our membership page. If you're not a member and want to see what's available, you can access a list of the documents below.

Other resources

ACRE, our parent organisation, operate the Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The fund offers flexible competitive loans to community buildings for renovation, repair and new buildings. Read more and download a brochure here.

NEW! (February 2017): Our colleagues at Action with Communities in Cumbria have worked with Connecting Cumbria to put together a useful 2-page summary of the issues to consider when connecting a village hall to broadband and installing wifi. The advice is just as applicable this side of the Pennines! Download the guide from the attachments list below.

Data Protection: Village Halls often have to manage information about people who hire the hall, those who sign up to mailing lists and other personal data. Even if you don't have to sign up formally as a Data Controller, you still have to ensure that you manage this information in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Find out more using the guide from the Information Commissioner's office (ICO) below.

As of summer 2016, ACRE now also manages the new national Village and Community Halls Network, which has been launched following the closure of the National Village Halls Forum to ensure that there is still a place where representatives of community buildings can share their views, experiences and ideas. Membership is completely free.

Our Marketing toolkit can be found on its own page - this comprehensive four-part package and presentation takes you through every stage of marketing a project or activity, from identifying your market to developing and publishing publicity materials.

National Energy Association energy audit template - simple guide to spotting how you could make your community building more energy efficient

Catering in Village Halls and other community settings - guidance from the Food Standards Agency, including guidance about whether you need to register as a food business, safety tips when preparing and serving food, and why the much publicised ban on re-using jam jars is a myth!

Firesafe is a comprehensive resource initially set up by Merseyside Fire Liaison Panel and now operated by Safelincs Ltd. It contains a wide range of information relevant to community buildings, such as advice on installation and maintenance of fire safety equipment and guidance on carrying out fire risk assessment.

Our friends at Dorset Community Action have produced a great range of materials for community groups and community buildings to help them become more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. The materials have been produced by their Communities Living Sustainably project. You'll find them all on the DCA website, while the Community Building guide and associated forms can be downloaded from the links below.

Is your community thinking about launching a new community building project? Locality's My Community Rights resources website has come up with this handy Community Buildings Checker to help check the viability of your ideas at an early stage. Just enter some key details about the project and it will assess how viable it is.

Venue Directories

Rural Action Yorkshire maintains the Yorkshire Venues website, which was set up through the Lottery-funded Rural Voice project as a free resource for community buildings across North Yorkshire to promote themselves. The Rural Voices project has now finished, but Rural Action Yorkshire is continuing to maintain the website and has attracted funding to expand its coverage to include venues in Rotherham, Sheffield, Leeds, and the Penistone Ward of Barnsley.

Yorvenue is a new great new website promoting venues in Yorkshire. Interactive maps, easily searchable, reviews, user photos and more. Venue managers can create and edit their own listings absolutely free! Add your community venue today.
File List of Community Buildings Resources available on website.doc90.5 KB
File Broadband and Wifi in Village Halls Connecting Cumbria Info Sheet Feb 2017.pdf385.56 KB
File ICO Guide to Data Protection 2016.pdf1.12 MB
File Energy and Sustainability Guide for Community Buildings DCA 2014.pdf709.23 KB
File Energy and Sustainability Review Form for Community Buildings DCA 2014.doc1.63 MB
File Energy and Sustainability Review Form for Community Buildings DCA 2014.pdf626.54 KB
File Ansvar Insurance Guide to reducing public liability March 2014.pdf1.87 MB