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Village Halls

Volume 716: debated on Thursday 23 June 2022

Village halls are at the heart of so many rural communities, and I am absolutely delighted that we have launched the platinum jubilee village hall improvement fund. Just as a mark of how important I think village halls are, let me tell Members that, when our own village celebrated 50 years of its village hall, I wrote a song about it, which I am still being teased about.

I thank the Minister for not sharing that song with us.

As a former chair of my local village hall, I know how important village halls can be in connecting people of all ages. That was particularly evident during the pandemic. Village halls are generally run by small dedicated teams of volunteers who, unfortunately, are continually scraping around for the cash to keep them open. What more can we do to give easier and more sustainable funding to ensure that as many of these vital community hubs as possible can stay open?

My hon. Friend makes such a good point. I congratulate him on his former role, and all those who have been on village hall committees. That included my husband who regaled me with many tales of what was said at the village hall committee. Our platinum jubilee village hall fund will provide for many halls the support they need to modernise, upgrade, and put in new internet and so forth. We also have a grant to support Action with Communities in Rural England to provide support for village halls across the whole country with advice, including on other sources of funding.