THE committee of a popular village hall, which plays a prominent role in its community, has worked to achieve a new quality standard.

Slaley Commemoration Hall, which is a registered charity and is run by a membership committee, achieved Hallmark 2 quality standard, which is overseen by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

The hall had already achieved level one, which focused on complying with charitable status requirements. The level two award assesses compliance with legislative issues.

Debra Taylor, vice-chairwoman of the committee, said the longer term goal would be to get prepared for level three – which is the highest Hallmark standard.

The committee was supported by Community Action Northumberland (CAN) to achieve the status. Debra said: “It encourages village halls and community buildings to be run at good level and it means it is a good safe place to have in the community.

“It all helps with giving us credibility for new bookings and customers. We get a small discount off our insurance and it also just means committee members are confident in what they are doing.

“We are the seventh village hall in Northumberland to get this and I think there are more than 60 village halls in Northumberland.”

The village hall continues to be an important asset to Slaley, with the community last year raising more than £40,000 towards the ‘£100k for 100 years’ campaign launched by the committee, which asked the community to help it achieve its aim of improving the state of the building ahead of the hall’s 100th anniversary in 2022. The committee hopes to hear soon on whether a National Lottery bid has been successful.

The hall is also due to launch a new online booking system in February, and will hold an open day on January 26 for National Village Halls Week.