Latest on Covid

March 2022

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has produced its latest advice on Covid dated 22 February 2022.   It also includes the following four Word files which can be downloaded for halls to edit as appropriate.
Appendix C sample poster
Appendix E Special conditions of hire
Appendix F Sample Risk Assessment for halls
Appendix G Sample Risk Assessment for Hirers

February 2022

Many will be aware of the Prime Minister’s announcement that on Thursday 24 February 2022 all legal restrictions relating to Covid 19 in England will be removed including the legal obligation to self isolate. Individual village halls will continue, of course, make their own decisions over the wearing of face masks and social distances.

ACRE’s most recent advice (January 2022) can be found here. Please note that the deadline for applying for the latest Covid Grant (OHLG) has been extended from February 28 to March 18th 2022.  Application details & guidance can be found on the NCC site. 

December 2021

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. 

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: