Are you planning environmental improvements to your village or community hall?
Are you looking to save energy, reduce waste or make more space for nature outside the building?
Every hall – of every size and age – has a responsibility to consider the impact of its operation on the environment and we need to take bold steps now to reduce carbon emissions and achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050.
Thanks to funding from the Royal Countryside Fund and Western Power Distribution Community Matters, CCS delivered a two-year programme of training and networking to help future proof community buildings.
We produced a range of resources here to help you along the way, including information sheets, case studies, events and useful links.
CCS information & resources
Launching Ecohalls in January 2022 with the view from Baltonsborough and how they greened up their Village Hall and Playing Field with wildflower planting, solar panels and EV charging points.
Download: Energy Action Plan info sheet here
DIY Energy Audit
A ‘walkaround’ energy survey of your community building is the best place to start when considering how to reduce energy and can form the basis of a carbon reduction plan. Download templates for your audit and catch up on CCS training to help complete it.
Generating energy from renewable technologies, such as solar panels or heat pumps, is a significant step towards the decarbonisation of village and community halls and can lead to long term financial savings. However, community buildings vary enormously in their age, construction and usage and there is no ‘one size fits all’.
Making space for nature
Community halls often have associated outside spaces, whether this is a car park, courtyard or a large recreation field. Whatever the space, there is always room to create a home for wildlife.
Download: Making Space for nature guide
Environmental Funding Opportunities
Guidance on where to look for funds and how to make your applications as strong as possible, plus other fundraising ideas for your hall.
Waste Management in Community Buildings
Activities including Repair Cafes, community food projects and recycling schemes can bring new users to your hall while your Community Building does more to reduce, reuse and recycle. From terracycling hubs to community food projects, Fixy Vans and Repair Cafes, these links bring you the latest initiatives to help reduce the impact of waste, and show how you can encourage your hirers to work with you.
Download: Eco Halls Waste Management useful links
Regular consultation with your community is good practice to understand how your building is used, where the gaps in provision are, and how your community’s needs are changing. Consultation is particularly important when you are considering your actions and responses to the Climate Emergency, whether you want to better understand what’s important to your users, or you want to promote what environmental actions you have already taken in your hall.
Download: Eco Halls – Community Consultation
Don’t take our word for it, review what other facilities have done in Somerset and read our case studies:
Other useful information
- Climate Change and Village Halls. Community Adaption Kit
- Somerset Climate Action Network
- Utility Aid
- Energy Saving figures for Western Power Distribution
- OfGem information for consumers
- Energy Saving Trust
- Money Supermarket Energy saving tips: Top 11 ways to save energy at home
- Energy saving tips for community buildings – Centre for Sustainable Energy (cse.org.uk)
- Energy efficiency improvements for community buildings – Centre for Sustainable Energy (cse.org.uk)
Why take action?
In 2019, the five local authorities in Somerset declared a climate emergency and are working towards a carbon neutral Somerset by 2030. We all have a role to play by reducing our carbon footprint. However, environmental improvements bring other benefits for halls too:
- Financial savings. Environmental improvements can reduce running costs and improve financial sustainability.
- A warmer, more welcoming environment can attract more business. No one likes a cold, draughty village hall!
- Inspiring your local community. Environmental improvements in village halls can inspire and inform local people and engender a community wide approach to tackling climate change.
For more information contact