Village Halls & Community Buildings Advisory Service

Herstmonceux VH1

Village Halls & Community Buildings are crucial components in sustaining inclusive and active communities, particularly in rural areas where fewer venues and services are present.

They provide communities with a hub in which social interaction can occur, businesses may be supported, services may be delivered and physical activities may take place.

Our Advisory Service operates to provide information and advice to building trustees, managers and volunteers on the various aspects associated with operating these facilities. It is open to those running any form of community facility, including village halls, community centres, church halls and sports pavilions across both East and West Sussex.

Advisory Service Subscribers will be able to benefit from:

Workshops and networking events which provide trustees, managers and volunteers involved in running facilities with an opportunity to interact, expand their knowledge and share best practice. This includes an annual conference in both East Sussex and West Sussex.

Web-based access to themed Topic Notes created by AirS and Village Halls Information sheets produced by our national organisation, ACRE. These provide up-to-date and practical information on a range of topics including insurance, hire charges, employment, budgeting, fire safety etc. A summary of the publications available is located here.

Monthly newsletters and e-bulletins providing information and updates on all aspects of managing a community building, together with funding and training information and responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Opportunities to seek answers or comments on key issues or topics from those operating other community buildings in Sussex.

Access to members of the AirS Village Halls Buddying Scheme for support from those managing other community buildings on particular issues where they have direct experience.

Representation from Sussex to government consultations via the Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group (SCBAG) which raises awareness on any issues that affect community buildings.

Direct and easy access to expert consultancy services for detailed advice on complicated or development issues, particularly capital projects. The service is provided at competitive rates reflecting the aim of AirS to provide affordable services.

Examples of the types of support offered and the benefits they may bring is set out here.

Consultancy Services

In addition to our subscription service which provides advice and information, we also offer a consultancy service which provides bespoke and detailed assistance on specific issues or projects to individual halls.

If you are involved in running a community building and have a specific issue or problem, then please contact us to explore how we could assist. Please note that this is service is restricted to subscribers.

How to subscribe

The simplest way to become a subscriber to the Village Hall & Community Buildings Service is to download the Subscriber Application Form 2019-20 and return it with the appropriate payment using the details located at the bottom of the form.

2019-2020 Subscriptions

Subscriptions run from 1st April to 31st March.

Subscription for this period is priced at £144.00 (including VAT).

If you have any questions regarding the subscription process or require any further details, please contact the administrator:

Contact Us

Tel: (01273) 473422 E-mail:



We are extremely grateful for the funding provided by Lewes District Council and Mid Sussex District Council to support these services.

Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund

The grant funding will be managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra with support from the ACRE Network. The grant aims to help fund the updating and refurbishment of village halls so that they are fit for purpose and provide activities which seek to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for their communities:

•Improved health and wellbeing/reduction in loneliness
•Demonstrates a positive impact on the environment
•Supports the local rural economy

There will be greater emphasis given to applications who have already secured most of the funding.

For more information on how to apply, please click here

Hallmark Quality Award Scheme

The Hallmark Quality Award Scheme is a quality assurance mechanism that has been developed to promote standards across community buildings. For more information on this scheme and how to apply please click here.

Peer Support & Buddy Halls

We keen to promote peer support and networking between the volunteers that run community buildings so that experiences and best practice may be shared between them. If you are interested in and wish to find out more then please contact us.

Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group

The Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group is made up of volunteers involved in running community buildings across East and West Sussex. It works to identify key issues affecting their operation, bringing together expertise and feeding these into ACRE and the National Village Halls Forum to improve the funding and legislative environment for volunteer-run community buildings.

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