A new government scheme is inviting village hall committees to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings.

Applications are welcome for improvement works on existing facilities through to new meeting rooms. The new scheme will help around 100 community building projects to get on site and start work.

Minister for rural affairs Lord Gardiner said: "Village halls are the cornerstone of our rural communities. They provide vital spaces and facilities for people across the country – from fitness and social activity through to healthcare and education.

"I am delighted to launch officially this £3 million grant scheme for village halls, supporting these important hubs for our local communities".

The new funding will cover 20 percent of the total costs of a project. The remaining funding comes from a combination of charity reserves, fundraising, local authority funding and other grants such as the National Lottery Community Fund.

The application must be a village hall or similar rural community building and a registered charity. New build projects will not be eligible to apply to the fund due to their high costs and long timescales.

Apply for grant