Who we are
Louise Beaton has over 30 years experience of supporting those running community buildings, at both local and national level and has contributed to changes in policy and legislation which have helped volunteers to maintain financially viable community buildings.
Community Buildings Adviser for Action in rural Sussex for 14 years, Louise is familiar with many of the difficulties facing those running multi purpose premises. She supported capital projects worth around £1 million p.a., some of whose leaders have kindly provided the testimonials here.
As National Village Halls Adviser for ACRE Louise trained and supported Village Halls Advisers employed in the ACRE Network. As Secretary of the National Village Halls Forum she led the campaign which led to the UK Government successfully obtaining approval from Brussels for VAT on the construction of new, charitable community halls to remain at 0% VAT, which has saved UK communities millions. Other legislative and fiscal improvements to which she has contributed include the provisions for Temporary Event Notices in the Licensing Act 2005, the accounting provisions for small charities and protections for charity property, rate relief and waste disposal.
Louise undertook research for ACRE’s Surveys of Village Halls in England and for the Countryside Agency into capital funding for rural community building projects, written publications and Information Sheets and edited ACRE’s design guidance for Community Halls. She was a panel member of the Big Lottery Funded Community Sustainable Energy Programme, run by the Building Research Establishment, and has undertaken evaluations of lottery funded projects.
Louise and her husband Martin Beaton, formerly Chief Officer of the South Downs Joint Committee (predecessor body to the South Downs National Park), have both worked in local government and were part of the Aldingbourne Neighbourhood Planning Team.