Village halls in Dorset set to reopen

Village halls in Dorset set to reopen

Published by Maria Greenwood at 10:31am 29th June 2020.

New guidance has been issued on how village halls in Dorset could reopen from the 6th July.

Village halls are now allowed to hold indoor markets after the government changed lockdown rules.

There's new guidance on how to do this safely so they can return to being a hub for the community.

Action with Communities in Rural England have produced advice to help ensure social distancing and introduce effective cleaning regimes.

Deborah Clarke, ACRE's Rural Evidence and Village Halls Manager said:

"Over the past couple of months we have been contacted by numerous volunteers who manage village halls wanting to know how and when they can reopen and help their community recover from Covid19.

"That's why we've been working with relevant government departments to make sense of the emerging regulations and produce this guidance which is tailored to village halls.  

"I encourage all village halls committees to read this information as it will allow them to put in place measures needed to make their buildings safe for use before they are given the green light to open their doors once again".

Owermoigne Village Hall

Some village halls have been hosting food banks, community shops and medicine distribution centres during the lockdown.

ACRE say village halls are extremely important for fighting loneliness and isolation in the community as they host a wide variety of activities for local residents.

Louise Beaton, ACRE's Community Halls Consultant Adviser said:

"It's a huge credit to the volunteers who manage village and community halls that they have been able to manage closure, keep an eye on security and maintenance and now think through the complexity of re-opening halls with multiple meeting spaces of different sizes, for a wide variety of different uses.

"We know that up and down England village halls support close to 300 different kinds of activities across England and for a busy hall, finding the time between bookings to clean to Covid-19 requirements will be a challenge."