Update on Government VAT scheme for community buildings – February 2019

Many representatives of village halls and community buildings will have been very aware of the government’s announcement in the budget of an allocation of £3 million to cover the cost of VAT on community building improvements.

This is for the provision of a £3 million grant fund to which village halls and community buildings may apply to help cover the 20% VAT costs currently applicable to improvement works.

This was in no small way down to the raising of this issue by ACRE (our national body) and village hall representatives from Sussex who identified to Minister’s the impact of VAT on construction and enhancement projects for community buildings.

We have been contacted by a number of halls eager to find out more and to identify the status of the scheme. Here is a summary of what we know so far:

  • The fund will focus on building improvements (rather than maintenance or repairs) for facilities located in rural areas.
  • The scheme will be overseen by DEFRA, with a steering group being formed to oversee its delivery.
  • It is due for a launch this spring, most likely after April 2019 when the funds become available.
  • Details on the eligibility, application and delivery process are still being finalised.
  • It will not apply retrospectively to activities undertaken before the schemes launch.

We will provide an update to halls once further information becomes available. Any facilities currently in the process of considering building improvements may wish to consider pausing until greater clarity is provided.

For further information please contact: villagehalls@ruralsussex.org.uk

“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”