Coronavirus: Guidance for Community Buildings and Village Halls 

As the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds, we are having to make changes to keep ourselves and our communities safe.  Here is some guidance for the management of community buildings and village halls.

Closing your premises

To comply with the government’s directives, we advise that community buildings and village halls should now be closed and remain closed until the government says otherwise.  Community buildings can remain partially open only if they provide an essential service – for example, a community shop which sells food or a post office.  All other aspects should remain closed.    

Your committee can make the decision to close by email and/or telephone - there does not need to be a face to face meeting.  Minutes should be compiled as for regular meetings.  



Depending on what your hire agreement states regarding cancellation, you may have to return the booking fee and deposit.  However, you may wish to ask hirers if they would consider donating part of the fees to the hall.  Your hire agreement should contain a clause allowing you to cancel bookings for exceptional reasons but if it doesn’t a hall committee decision to cancel bookings on government advice should be legal.


Regular hirers

Fees paid in advance by regular hirers may need to be held over until their session resumes.



Hall committees may decide to make decisions by email or telephone.  Minutes should still be taken and circulated, as usual.



Those who have AGMs planned in the coming months can consider delaying until such time when the current restrictions have eased.  Most governing documents allow for an AGM to be held in a particular month, or as ‘soon as practicable thereafter’.  If your governing document doesn’t state this, a decision can be made by the hall committee and Minuted, as these are exceptional circumstances.



The hall committee should check with insurers to see if cover includes ‘business interruption’ and the circumstances in which this will be paid. For information about staff and volunteers regarding charities NCVO has some very useful information which can be found by clicking here.


Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC have now published the guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme. Charities are eligible to claim, but please note the closing date.  Please click here to access the relevant page:


Security and maintenance of premises

Trustees will want to consider what can be done to keep their premises in good order and reduce the risk of theft and criminal damage.  Allied Westminster (Insurances Services) Ltd gives useful suggestions:

·         make sure that your insurers have the details of two or three people they can deal with in the event of an insurance claim

·         consider carrying out risk assessments on the changing risk/lack of supervision

·         consider leaving heating on to reduce the risk of burst pipes, but other critical services might be powered down if not required, unless to support protection or detection services

·         consider draining all water and fuel supply tanks, apparatus and pipes

·         clear external areas of waste and combustible materials

·         fire protection, detection and security systems should remain active and be monitored remotely where possible

·         maintenance on any protection and/or detection systems in place should be a priority to protect the property

·         check all physical security and locking devices are working and in place

·         think about perimeter security, fences and security lighting  - they should be in decent condition and operational.


Please help keep your communities, your staff and yourselves safe by keeping up to date with government advice and directives. If you need specific advice for your community building or hall, please get in touch and we will do our best to help. GRCC offices are currently closed, but staff are working from home.