Village halls at risk of closure, Charity Commission warns

Village halls and community centres are risking closure because their trustees and managers are not responding to change, according to a Charity Commission investigation.

The report, Using It or Losing It, said a dwindling and ageing population, a lack of interest among younger people and new residents, and competition from nearby towns meant demand for the services provided by village halls was falling, and meeting local needs was becoming more challenging.

"While some trustees and their staff embrace change and seek imaginative ways of responding to and securing the funding they need, others are blinkered by nostalgia or a failure of imagination," says the report.

More than 9,000 such organisations are charities and their combined income is around £250m.

Neville Brownlee, the commission's head of regulatory reports, said: "These facilities often play a vital role in their local communities.

But some trustees are not responding to change and can become stuck in a rut with shrinking user numbers and consequent funding problems."

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