An initiative to bring new life to community facilities is inviting owners and organisers to access a wide range of support and advice.

Officers from Monmouthshire’s Rural Development Programme are offering the opportunity to participate in the Halls Together Project to give people the chance to work together, while sharing ideas and experiences to help ensure the sustainability of their facilities.

There are approximately 80 community facilities in Monmouthshire and 15 within the rural wards of Newport.  Each tends to work in isolation, so they rarely take advantage of opportunities to share their experiences, and contribute to the benefit of neighbouring community facilities.  The purpose of the Halls Together Project is for all facilities to work together to share best practice and benefit from joint ventures such as funding, reducing energy costs by bulk purchasing, adequate broadband access, compliance information, training and many other aspects that contribute towards running a suitable local community hall.

Officers are asking hall owners and organisers to complete a short questionnaire to assess current facilities and to assist people to ascertain requirements for their individual circumstances.

Monmouthshire’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice, Councillor Lisa Dymock said: “Community facilities in Monmouthshire and rural Newport are important assets in each area they serve. After the lengthy pandemic shutdown, these buildings will play a crucial role in bringing people together and provide the ability to hold events locally again.”

Anyone wishing to access the questionnaire or seek further information should contact Rural Programmes Coordinator Lucinda James on lucindajames@monmouthshire.gov.uk or telephone 01633 644779 / 07917 597793.

Rural Development Programme funding for the Halls Together Project closes at the end of December 2021 so the scheme’s steering group has requested interested parties to get in touch as soon as possible.

The Halls Together Project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.