19th Mar 2020

In recent days many people are asking about:

  • Claiming on insurance for the disruption caused to services amid the covid-19 virus outbreak?
  • Best ways to protect buildings that are closed, to minimise the risk of damage and to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of insurance policies.

Allied Westminster, the UK’s largest provider of insurance for village halls and the principal supporter of ACRE's Advice Service for Village Halls, has put out some information and guidance to help people stay informed and keep buildings safe and secure.

Download the statement HERE

Advice for Village Halls & Community Buildings

All organisations are responding to the latest government guidance, Community Buildings have not had direct advice to close and Trustees are face making many difficult decisions.  The Community Development Officer at Durham Community Action can support you with information and guidance when taking these decisions and have collated some useful information based on the latest Government guidance to help you make informed decisions.

Guidance is changing rapidly and we aim to update our information in response.

As of the 16th March 2020, the UK Government announced that people should “Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs” This advice should be taken into consideration and common sense applied in your decision making when considering the ongoing delivery of your services.

The Government has indicated there may be help regarding loss of income for certain businesses. As yet we don’t not know if community buildings will be eligible. Further information will be provided once we have confirmation.

Trustees running community buildings have a duty of care to provide a safe facility for the community to use. Therefore, should you wish to remain open, your committee must bear in mind that extra precautions need to be made as your building may provide activities for those groups who are most at risk from the virus.

Precautions include:

  • Take notice of the Government and Public Health England websites and keep up to date with the ongoing situation
  • Keep the Hall very clean and ensure that soap and/or hand sanitiser is available, paper towels are available and hand driers are working efficiently
  • Avoid the use of hand towels for the time being
  • Put up a notice about hand washing, particularly in toilets and kitchen areas. Poster available here: Catch it bin it kill it
  • Advise users that they are expected to act responsibly and take notice of Government and Public Health England advice which includes who is and isn’t allowed to be in public spaces
  • Regarding cancellation of any bookings follow the steps in the hiring agreement.
  • In the event of the building having to close, we suggest that you contact your insurance company to discuss what may be covered under your insurance policy, including business interruption cover.
  • If you are hosting a formal meeting, such as an AGM, NCVO has provided comprehensive advice

DCA will continue to offer whatever support we can through this unprecedented time and if you have any immediate concerns about your organisation’s sustainability, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 01388 742040 or by email

< Back to posts