Volunteer Army Gathers To Champion Village Halls
Around 250 members of the volunteer army who manage rural Scotland’s Village Halls and other community facilities will gather in Aviemore this weekend, at the first ever Scottish Village Halls Summit. The response to the event has been described by the organisers as ‘overwhelming’, with every available place booked up two weeks in advance.
Representatives from every part of rural Scotland will hear from Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead about the Government’s plans to support halls and other community facilities. They will also get the chance to have their say on what needs to be done to ensure a sustainable future for village halls, and put their views to a panel of those involved in funding and support for community facilities.
The Conference is organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), who have had a long history of support for village halls, including managing the 21st Century Halls Millennium Funding which provided £7 million of funding to rebuild or refurbish 56 Scottish Village Halls. It is supported by the Scottish Government, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and ILA Scotland.
SCVO Rural Policy Manager Norman MacAskill said: ‘We have been genuinely overwhelmed by the interest in this event, and the demand for places. We expected around a hundred people to sign up, but have ended up with more than double that number coming, showing the passionate commitment felt by people living in rural Scotland to the shared community spaces at the heart of their communities.
‘With SCVO’s Halls for All campaign last year and the first ever Village Halls Summit, we are doing our bit to help build a powerful collective voice for the volunteer army who manage rural Scotland’s Village Halls and other community facilities.’