Do you need to hire a hall for an event? What about a local community centre? Community halls can be inexpensive to hire and might provide you with a suitable venue. Have a look at our guide for more information.
Key things to check
If you are thinking of hiring a community hall, pay it a visit to see if the location and size is suitable. Try and go at a time when it is being used. Light and heat A lot of community halls have been refurbished with little funding. If you go when it is being used, you will be able to tell if the lighting is suitable and that it is warm enough. Check out what heating it uses and if you can turn it on and off yourself. Check the acoustics Depending on what you are using the hall for, you may need to check the acoustics. Halls with high ceilings or little insulation can echo. Find out if there is a PA system you can use if needed. If the hall is not very sound proofed and you are having a party or disco, see if there are adjoining neighbours who might be disturbed by the noise. Access and health and safety Make sure the hall for hire is accessible to all your guests. If you have wheelchair users attending your event, check that there are ramps and disability toilets with easy access. Fire exits should be signed and fire extinguishers should be within easy reach. Ask to see recent fire certs and ensure that health and safety is covered.
And some more
Find out about food and alcohol. Can you take in your own food or is there a kitchen on the premises that will provide refreshments? Again, health and safety laws should be adhered to with regards to food preparation and display, so you need to check whose responsibility it is. Serving alcohol If you want to serve alcohol, you will have to discuss this with the hall manager or caretaker. Some community halls allow alcoholic drinks, others don’t so you need to find out if your requirements can be met. Hiring the hall You will need to arrange with the hall manager or caretaker about who opens up or closes the building and whether there will be any other groups using it at the same time as yourself. Your final thing to negotiate is the price and if everything is in order, you should settle on a reasonable fee.