Eco Halls

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

Project launch

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

Watch back:

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.

Download our CCS DIY Energy Audit Or watch back our online training How to undertake a DIY Energy audit

Renewables

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’.

Download An introduction to Renewables and watch back Renewable energy and community buildings

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

Watch back: Making space for nature at your Community Buildings

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.

Download:

watch back: Potential funding sources for community buildings

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

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Community Consultation

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

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

Community Buildings

communitybuildings@somersetrcc.org.uk

Funded by