Case Study: Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust

30th May, 2022

To see all the Rebuilding Heritage Case Studies, click here.


Holmfirth Civic Hall is an iconic Grade II listed building in the centre of Holmfirth, constructed in 1842. It was acquired by Holme Valley Parish Council in 2017 via community asset transfer.

The Hall operates through the Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust, which manages it on a day-to-day basis with the goal of providing long-term benefits for the community.

The building consists of two main halls, plus various smaller spaces available for hire by the community, individuals or businesses. A small team of staff (Centre Manager and Business Development Manager) and trustees run and manage the building and its charity.



“The Rebuilding Heritage programme came at a really pertinent time for The Civic. Having recently rebranded with a revised name and image, we were keen to learn how best to promote that new brand and the support received certainly helped us to do that.

“We were also exploring alternative sources of individual and corporate giving and with a new person in post to undertake this work it was an ideal opportunity, whilst we were largely closed, to learn more about the options available and how we might introduce them.”


The Civic suffered pandemic-related closures from April 2020, reopening gradually from April 2021 onwards.

Following a rebrand in early 2021 which brought together the different spaces under one name – The Civic – the trustees were keen to build a communications strategy to promote the building and its programme. They had begun to work on a fundraising strategy prior to closure, appointing a business development manager to lead this activity.

The Trustees wanted support from Rebuilding Heritage to further develop their fundraising strategy and to be directed to resources linked to corporate-giving and grant-writing, particularly in light of the changing landscape presented by the Pandemic.

The small team also sought advice on marketing and communications to support their fundraising. They wished to sense-check their current thinking and come up with new ways in which to get the message out about their offer.


Support Received

Rebuilding Heritage offered support following three a successful applications, providing for the Business Development Manager:

Round 1 – October 2020

Round 5 – May 2021

Round 6 – July 2021

Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust accessed:

121 Support: Communications Strategy (Media Trust), Fundraising (Chartered Institute of Fundraising)

Group training: Organisational Storytelling (Media Trust), Improving Applications (Chartered Institute of Fundraising)

Other: Rebuilding Heritage Webinars, Heritage Digital, Heritage Digital

Learning Outcomes & New Directions

The Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust sought to produce a social media campaign, designed to launch the new brand while generating community interest and engagement.

Their communications plan included developing strong contacts in the media and building relationships within the community. They looked to address their capacity challenges through a Higher Education/Further Education (HE/FE) partnership to recruit a content ambassador role.

The Trust developed knowledge about how to find heritage funding for The Civic. They looked at setting realistic targets for corporate sponsorship, a Friends Scheme and how that might have implications for Gift Aid as well as the viability and desirability of running a lottery.

The support offered by Rebuilding Heritage helped the Trust to refine its fundraising plan, as well as in communicating and setting targets with the trustees. Much of the early impact has been in honing the different corporate sponsorship packages and launching them.


This case study was adapted from those included in the Rebuilding Heritage External Evaluation by Antrobus & Armitage.

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