Village Halls & Community Buildings Advisory Service

Village Halls & Community Buildings such as village halls, community centres, church halls and sports pavilions are crucial components in sustaining inclusive and active communities, particularly in rural areas where fewer venues and services are present.

There are approximately 300 such buildings across the rural parts of East and West Sussex. Each of which offers communities a hub in which social interaction can occur, businesses may be supported, services may be delivered and physical activities may take place.

Action in rural Sussex offers an Advisory service on an annual subscription basis which offers support to those involved in managing and operating these buildings. This includes the provision of key information and guidance documents, training events, workshops and conferences, as well as responses to ad-hoc queries.

It is designed to provide an affordable level of initial support and information to halls with easy and direct access to an expert consultancy service to meet more detailed and complex needs. It provides email, telephone and consultancy support on every aspect of managing multi– purpose community facilities.

Covid-19 Guidance

Re-opening Information Sheet V.11 July 2021

V11 Contents Page for Appendices

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
Appendix G
Appendix H
Appendix I
Appendix L
Appendix M

Advisory Service Details

Our Village Halls & Community Buildings Advisory Service operates on an annual subscription basis and is open to all trustee and management committees of village halls or community buildings across Sussex.

Subscriber benefits include:

  • Monthly newsletters and e-bulletins providing information and updates on all aspects of managing a community building, funding and training information and FAQs
  • Web-based access to Information Sheets, Model Documents and Topic Notes on key themes, providing up-to-date and practical information on a range of topics including: insurance, hire charges, employment, budgeting, fire safety etc
  • A number of workshops and networking events during the year to be held at various locations across the two counties
  • Representation via the Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group (SCBAG) to local and central government consultations, raising awareness raising of issues as they affect village halls and community buildings
  • Participation in the nationally-accredited peer assessment ‘Hallmark’ Quality Assurance scheme
  • Direct and easy access to expert consultancy services for detailed advice on complicated or development issues, particularly capital projects

Consultancy Service

All subscribers will be able to access additional consultancy services provided on competitive and flexible terms. The Service is designed to cover projects and issues that require additional specialist or concentrated support and advice.

Examples of consultancy work recently undertaken include:-

  • advice in relation to capital projects e.g. meeting committee members to provide guidance about project development, funding, help prepare funding applications
  • assistance with community consultation about development or other community buildings issues
  • drafting and reviewing business plans and / or funding applications,
  • mediation service, representation at meetings, public hearings or similar
  • support with contract and/or licence negotiation
  • work undertaken in relation to legal, constitutional and charity matters (e.g. explaining trustee responsibilities, changing governing documents)
  • guidance about financial sustainability and building up reserves

The service will primarily be provided by Louise Beaton who has worked in the charity sector for over 35 years and as the National Village Halls Advisor as well as in Sussex for over 25 years. She has a wealth of experience and her expertise on village hall and community building matters is second to none. AirS also has access to the ACRE Legal Advisor, also at competitive rates.

Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group (SCBAG)

The Advisory service is supported by the Sussex Community Buildings Advisory Group which is made up of volunteer representatives from village halls and community buildings across East and West Sussex, one of whom is elected annually to chair the group.

Its role is “to promote and champion the needs of village halls and community buildings, including advising and supporting the Action in rural Sussex Village Halls Team on its service provision.” and it achieves this by:

Advising Action in rural Sussex on its Advisory service to village halls and community buildings– what practical help is required, what are the topical issues etc.

  • Supporting Action in rural Sussex Village Hall Team to deliver support services, i.e. ideas about workshops, conference and training programmes/speakers including attendance at the workshops and other events
  • Advising and sharing knowledge with other halls in their area, where appropriate
  • Establishing links with district councils and other relevant organisations
  • Promoting the work of village halls to other relevant organisations
  • Supporting the work of the National Village Halls Forum and providing advice and support for responses to Government and public sector consultations as required

Yearly Subscriptions

Yearly subscriptions cost £144.00 (including VAT) and run for one year from the date of payment

How to subscribe

To become a subscriber to the Village Hall & Community Buildings Advisory Service, please download the Village Hall Service Application Form and return it with the appropriate payment using the details located at the bottom of the form.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Advisory service, subscription process or require any further details, then please contact us.

01273 473422 or email


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

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 knowledge and practical expertise to support halls in Sussex, but also 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.”