A village hall is the embodiment of ‘community’. It is the essential meeting place where people come together, the hub of social activities and a focus for local services. Halls are an important part of the rural economy and a stimulus to enable communities to thrive.

HARPFORD VILLAGE HALL
Devon Communities Together have been supporting the people of Harpford to return the village hall back into community use.

THE ISSUE
The Diocese of Exeter, owners of the building, had taken back control 4 years ago and despite protracted discussions with the Parish Council had decided to put the hall up for sale on the open market.

The Harpford community started a strong local campaign to prevent this, including a press campaign and local street events. They also contacted DCT to request support for their cause.

THE SUPPORT PROVIDED
Establishing a formal governing structure for the group
Accessing specialist legal advice from ACRE’s legal advisor

Registering the hall as a ‘Community Asset’ under the Community Right to Bid
Linking Harpford to other communities that had had property dealings with the Diocese of Exeter
Supporting the group in their negotiations with the Diocese
Ongoing support in finalising the organisational structure of the group and fundraising to purchase the building

THE OUTCOME

The hall was taken off the market and a meeting was secured with the Diocese and their advisors.

At the meeting the Diocese agreed to sell the hall to the community group and an affordable price was agreed.

The group are now moving forward to relaunch the hall as a hub for activities and services in their community.

Affordable Housing
Neighbourhood planning
Community Engagement
Community Facilities
Funding & loans