Category Archives: News

16.12.2021 Latest Covid Advice from ACRE

This is the latest and more detailed briefing supplied by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) on 16 December. It follows the increase in the rate of spread of the Omicron variant and informs village halls and community buildings over how they should be responding in various circumstances to the new legal requirements.  It is very useful. Updated Appendices E (Sample Special Conditions of Hire) and Appendix C (poster) can be found on ACRE’s site


New Web Portal for village halls in the County

The public launch of this new service is planned to take place at the end of March. Nearly 50 halls from all over Northumberland have already joined and many of them now have a web presence for the first time. Have a look here. If you like what you see get in touch with Louise Currie ( to discover what you have to do next. Remember that the first year is free.

Coronavirus and Village Halls

July 21 2021

ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) has today produced its latest Covid update on guidance for opening village halls (it’s version 11). This follows fast on the heels of a short Briefing published before the start of Stage 4 on Monday 19th July when most legal constraints were lifted. It is being released today along with a set of Appendices. 

April 25 2021

ACRE has updated its information sheet no. 9 published on March 26 2021. The latest version is confusingly titled Information sheet 9 version 10 dated April 22 2021 . It lists on p 2 the relatively few changes. The updated Appendix D which tabulates those activities which are allowed at each Step can be found here.

Covid Grants

The generous grants via Northumberland County Council, offered to eligible halls, have now passed their deadline. 

March 2021

The latest advice from ACRE can be found  here.  Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) spells out what is allowed and not allowed in village halls during the government’s 4 step roadmap first announced on February 22nd. This is always assuming all goes well in terms of continued Covid rate reduction and vaccinations etc.  A central message is that halls will be closed for most activities until May 17th and after that date strict Covid security will be expected. 

Licence Payments during shutdown

Clearly halls have been unable to benefit from those activities for which they are licensed if they have been closed and so some members have enquired with the relevant licence authorities whether they will offer credit or extension during the Covid restrictions. The answer is mixed but the  Covid grants can clearly be used in this context. 

Alcohol Licence 

More and more halls and community buildings are paying £70/year to the County Council to allow them to supply alcohol. Covid has delayed NCC in sending out reminders but NNVHC has been assured that members who have paid this in the past  will  still be licensed and should expect invoices soon. 

PRS/PPL Music Licence Contacted them on 2 April 2020 and they indicated that any period of closure would be taken into account and compensated. See here for the latest update as well as a very useful Frequently Asked Questions section. Tel: 0800 0720 808

MPLC (Motion Picture Licensing Company Ltd)

The MPLC is offering a 4 month extension of the licence period.   Community buildings are advised to email them with their account details explaining when they were closed for business.  Email:




List of Suppliers

You will recall that some time ago, on the suggestion of members, we agreed to compile a directory of useful suppliers covering everything from painting & decorating to building surveyors. We invited all members to make suggestions and so far have details of about 30 different suppliers. To download a PDF version, click here

I am sure most members have their favoured suppliers so, if we haven’t already heard from you, please get in touch with the suppliers name, what they do and their contact details.