Conditions of hire

Main Hall
Main Hall


General information January 2024


When you sign the Hiring Agreement form you are signing to confirm that you have read and understood the Conditions of Hire and agree to comply with them. Please read this document carefully. It contains some general information about the equipment and facilities available at the hall and then sets out the Conditions of Hire.

If you have any questions regarding the hire of the Victoria Rooms please contact the Bookings Secretary, Geoff Elson on 07920 188612 or

For information about the management of the village hall please contact the Chairman of the Management Committee, Philip Knowles on 01823 400609.

Data Protection

Please note that the Milverton Victoria Rooms Management Committee uses personal data for the purposes of managing the village hall, its bookings and its finances, marketing and running events at the hall and general fund-raising activities.

For the most part, such data is confined to the contact details (names, postal and email addresses and telephone numbers) of hirers and potential hirers, contractors, trustees and other volunteers. Personal data may be retained for up to 7 years for accounts purposes or for longer where required by our insurers. If you would like to find out more about how we use personal data, or want to know what personal data we hold on you, please contact Philip Knowleson 01823 400609. Our Data Protection Policy provides further information about our processes and your rights. This may be found in the Policy Statement.

For the avoidance of doubt, we ask you please to signify your consent to our using your personal data for the purposes outlined above when completing your hiring agreement form. We will not use your personal data for any other purpose without your express written consent (save in the unlikely event that we become legally obliged to do so). However, it would be helpful if you would also indicate on the form whether you are willing for us to share your contact details with other non-commercial groups and organisations benefitting the residents of the Parish of Milverton. Either or both these consents may be withdrawn at any time.

Mains supplies cut-offs

  • The mains gas ‘off’ lever is outside the side entrance in the covered walkway
  • The mains electricity ‘off’ switch is on the stage in the far corner
  • The water stopcock is in the boiler compartment in the store room at the end of the internal corridor

Equipment and facilities available to hirers

Item Number Comment
Linking chairs for main hall 100 Chairs and links are in the Reading Room store
GoPak tables – small 14 In the store room
Go Pak tables – large 24 Under the stage
Electric piano    
Public address system   Please advise the Bookings Secretary if you need this
Stage lighting   Please advise the Bookings Secretary if you need this
Loop system    
Exhibition display boards   Please advise the Bookings Secretary if you need this
Exhibition display lighting   Please advise the Bookings Secretary if you need this
Stainless steel serving dishes 15  
Dinner plates 80  
Pudding bowls 80  
Knives, forks and spoons 96 of each  
Cups and saucers 120  
Wine glasses 200 approx  
Gas double oven cooker    
Microwave oven    
Warming cabinet   In the store room
Water boiler    
Two fridges    

There are two wheelchair ramps stored in the front porch. Please secure these after use with the retaining strap provided. There is also a ramp (kept in the kitchen) for wheelchair access from the rear corridor into the main hall.

Free Wi-Fi is available. The password is displayed in the Reading Room.

A defibrillator for public use has been installed by the side entrance to the right of the forecourt.

First aid kits are in the kitchen and in the store room.

Waste and recycling bins are located in the back yard – please bolt the external door after use.

Please note that we do not supply tea towels for the use of hirers.

Our licence

The Victoria Rooms are licensed by Somerset Council for the following activities (a copy of the licence summary may be found on the notice board in the rear corridor):

  • the exhibition of films
  • the performance of plays
  • indoor sporting events
  • the playing of live music
  • the playing of recorded music
  • the performance of dance or anything of a similar description (indoors)
  • dancing
  • the sale of alcohol by retail for consumption on and off the premises

Sale or supply of alcohol

An important condition of the licence is that any sale or supply of alcohol at the Victoria Rooms must be made or authorised by the Management Committee. The Conditions of Hire and the Committee’s Bar Rules explain how to obtain the Committee’s permission to sell or supply alcohol. The Bar Rules also regulate such sale or supply. The Committee’s licence is an important asset to the village hall and one of the purposes of the Bar Rules is to protect that licence.

Fault reporting

The Management Committee makes every effort to maintain the Victoria Rooms in a safe and usable condition. Please help us by reporting any damage or faults to the Bookings Secretary so that prompt action can be taken to rectify the situation.

Conditions of hire

Reading Room
Reading Room

1. Hiring agreement

Important : hirers are reminded that when they sign the booking form they do soon the basis that they have read and understood the following conditions and agree to comply with them.

The hirer must complete a Hiring agreement single booking form. Organisations using the premises on a regular basis can make a block booking by completing a Hiring agreement multiple bookings form. These forms are available to print from this website or from the Bookings Secretary.

  • hirers must state on the form what sort of event they will be holding, eg a private party, a public dance, etc
  • In the unlikely event that an activity is not covered by the list of licensed activities and involves an activity for which a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 is required, written permission for it must be sought from the Management Committee. If the Committee agrees that the event may proceed, a Temporary Event Notice must be given to the Somerset Council
  • the Hiring Agreement form must be signed and returned to the Bookings Secretary before the period of hire
  • new hirers may be required to meet a Management Committee member to view the premises and discuss details of the booking
  • bookings will not be taken from persons under the age of 18 years of age
  • in the event that the premises or any part of them are rendered unfit for the use for which they have been hired, the Management Committee will not be liable to the hirer for any resulting loss
  • notice of the cancellation of any booking must be given to the Bookings Secretary, preferably in writing, not less than one calendar month before the booked date. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the full hire charge will be payable where shorter notice is given
  • the hirer must indemnify and keep indemnified each and every member of the Management Committee against all actions, claims and proceedings arising from any breach of these Conditions of Hire

2. Overall responsibility of the hirer

During the period of hire, the hirer is responsible for:

  • the use of the premises to ensure that no damage is done to its fabric and contents
  • the behaviour of all persons using the premises
  • ensuring that sufficient stewards are in attendance and are familiar with the action to be taken in the event of fire and with the fire precautions applicable to the building
  • ensuring that the capacity of the building is not exceeded
  • ensuring that alcoholic drinks are only sold or supplied in accordance with the law and the Management Committee’s Bar Rules
  • minimising the risk of infection from Covid-19 and other infectious diseases
  • observing food safety and hygiene legislation and good practice, where applicable
  • if playing live or recorded music, or screening films, ensuring that the necessary copyright licences are in place, where applicable
  • ensuring that waste is properly disposed of, food waste removed from the premises and that any property brought on to the premises is removed (unless storage space has been allocated for it)
  • ensuring that noise emanating from the premises including music, dancing and amplified speech is not such as to amount to a nuisance
  • ensuring that the function or event finishes no later than 11.30pm (unless, exceptionally, a later time is allowed) with the premises vacated by 12 midnight

The hirer shall not use the premises for any purpose other than that described in the Hiring Agreement and must not allow the premises to be used for any unlawful purpose. Sub-letting is not permitted.

3. Charges and deposits

Please see the scale of charges for the hire of the building or part thereof. The Management Committee will normally allow half an hour either side of the period of chargeable hire to set up and clear away. Charges must be paid on returning the Hiring Agreement form for single bookings and on receipt of an invoice for multiple bookings. Cheques are payable to The Milverton Victoria Rooms.

In addition to the hire charge, a deposit may be required in the event that replacements, repairs or cleaning are necessary as a result of the hirer’s use of the premises. Any deposit must be paid, preferably in cash, when returning the Hiring Agreement form. Deposits are refundable, save where the Management Committee decides that all or part of the amount deposited needs to be retained to defray any costs and expenses arising from the hirer’s use of the premises.

4. Fire emergency procedures and precautions

Hirers must ensure that there are sufficient stewards appointed to facilitate a safe evacuation of the premises, should that prove necessary, and to secure compliance with the fire precautions described below. Hirers should familiarise themselves with the instructions for resetting the fire alarm. These are posted next to the control panel in the corridor opposite the kitchen. If in doubt, please seek assistance from a member of the Management Committee.

4.1 In the event of fire…

  • sound the fire alarm
  • call the Fire Service on 999
  • use available extinguishing equipment only if safe to do so
  • ensure that everybody leaves the building in a calm and orderly fashion and that people do not place themselves or others at risk by stopping to collect personal belongings
  • the fire assembly point is in the car park at the top of Creedwell Orchard (opposite the public toilets adjacent to the Victoria Rooms)
  • alert the occupants of the neighbouring buildings
  • account for evacuees at the fire assembly point, so far as is practicable
  • at an appropriate time, report the incident to the Chairman of the Management Committee

4.2 General fire precautions

In the interest of fire safety, the following precautions must be observed:

  • the hirer and all appointed stewards must make themselves aware of the locations of all the fire alarm points, fire exits, fire extinguishers and the fire assembly point
  • fire exits must be kept unlocked and unobstructed while the premises are in use
  • the side gate in Fore Street must be locked in the open position at all times while the premises are in use
  • on no account must the internal doors to the kitchen and the Reading Room be propped open with wedges, chairs, etc. Both doors are fitted with automatic door stops which will allow the doors to close when the fire alarm sounds
  • flammable substances and materials must not be brought on to the premises
  • deep-fat frying is not permitted on the premises

4.3 Additional fire precautions for public performances

In addition to the general fire precautions listed, the following precautions must be observed during any public performance:

  • at the start of the performance, the hirer must cause a clearly audible announcement to be made, informing all persons on the premises of the locations of the fire alarm points, fire exits and the fire assembly point
  • stewards must be stationed to ensure that drapes or curtains drawn across escape routes during performances do not compromise those routes in the event of an emergency. When the stage is in use, the curtain at the foot of the steps can be hooked up on itself to create an unobstructed exit from the stage
  • stewards must be stationed to ensure that the width of the main exit into Fore Street does not become compromised
  • prams, buggies, wheelchairs and other items must not be placed so as to obstruct gangways and exits
  • stewards must ensure that there is an individual who will take responsibility for assisting any wheelchair user or other disabled person in the event of an evacuation. The wheelchair ramps in the front porch must be deployed with due regard for the safety of others leaving the building by that route

5. Maximum capacity

The maximum capacity of The Victoria Rooms (including organisers, stewards, caterers, etc) is as follows and must on no account be exceeded:

Main Hall

  • dancing (no tables and chairs), 100 persons maximum
  • chairs theatre style, 100 persons maximum
  • tables and chairs, 80 persons maximum

Reading Room

  • 30 persons maximum

Where the whole building is in use

  • where the whole building is in use the capacity is 100 persons maximum

6. Health and safety

The Management Committee has a duty under health and safety legislation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that the premises, the means of entry and exit and any equipment or substances on them are safe and without risks to health. There are also general duties of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 and at common law. Specific responsibilities are imposed by regulations relating to such matters as fire safety, asbestos management and the provision and use of work equipment. Hirers must ensure that they, too, take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that their activities do not pose a risk to the health or safety of participants or others likely to be affected and that any work equipment to be used is suitable, safe and used by people who have received appropriate instruction. The Management Committee accepts no liability for any failure by the hirer to comply with health and safety legislation or to discharge a duty of care. In managing their activities or events, hirers must take account of the Committee’s health and safety risk assessment.

7. Covid-19 and other infectious diseases

Hirers are expected to take appropriate precautions during their use of the premises to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and other infections. Where necessary, these should include asking people who have had symptoms during the previous 7 days, or who currently feel unwell, not to enter the hall. Other measures are at the hirer’s discretion. Hand sanitiser is available at both entrances to the building. In assessing the risk of spreading infection, regard should be had to the national and/or local situation, the nature of the proposed activity and the number and vulnerabilities (if any) of those people expected to attend, as well as to other factors that may be relevant.

8. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Hirers must ensure that any activities for children, young people and vulnerable adults are only provided by fit and proper persons in accordance with the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and any subsequent legislation. When requested, hirers must provide the Management Committee with a copy of their safeguarding policy and evidence that they have carried out relevant checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

9. Data Protection for hirers

Hirers are expected to observe relevant data protection legislation. In particular, photographsor video footage of an event to which members of the public are admitted, whether on payment or otherwise, should not be taken unless those attending have been made aware of their right to be excluded from photographs or video footage. Photographs or video footage of persons under 18 attending such an event should not be taken without express parental consent in writing. The Management Committee accepts no liability for any failure to comply with data protection law. Hirers should seek legal advice if they have any doubt about their compliance

10. Food safety

If serving food or drink on the premises, the hirer must observe all relevant food safety legislation and good practice and must ascertain whether they needs to register with Somerset Council as the operator of a ‘food business’ – a term that is wide enough to include almost every situation in which food or drink are sold or supplied in a village hall, whether or not for profit. The Management Committee accepts no liability for any failure by the hirer to comply with food safety law. Advice may be obtained from Somerset Council and from the Food Standards Agency.

The attention of the hirer is drawn to the list of good kitchen practices posted in the kitchen. The hirer must ensure that food handlers are aware of and follow those practices.

Food waste and all other waste must be disposed of properly at the end of the hiring period.While waste and recycling bins are located in the back yard, food waste must, for hygiene reasons, be removed from the premises and disposed of by the hirer.

No animals, other than guide dogs, are allowed on the premises.

11. Sale or supply of alcohol for hirers

The Management Committee holds a premises licence which enables the Committee, or any person authorised by the Committee, to sell or supply alcohol. Hirers wishing to sell or supply alcohol at an event must obtain permission from the Committee. Normally the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman or the Bookings Secretary will deal with these applications on the Committee’s behalf. Permission is sought by completing and returning to the Bookings Secretary an Alcohol licence form (available to print from this website or from the Bookings Secretary) no later than 2 weeks before the event is due to take place. Alcohol may only be sold or supplied by individuals authorised by the Management Committee. Subject to conditions, the Committee has granted standing permission to certain  named representatives of trusted local organisations (see the Annex to the Committee’s Bar Rules). In other cases please note: no permission; no sale or supply.

The Committee’s Bar Rules must be complied with by hirers authorised by the Committee to sell or supply alcohol under its premises licence. A copy is posted on the notice board in the main hall or available on this website or from the Bookings Secretary.

Alcohol must on no account be sold or supplied to anybody under the age of 18.

Save in exceptional circumstances, the sale or supply of alcohol must cease no later than 11pm.

Any member of the Management Committee is entitled at all times to enter the building to ensure that these Conditions of Hire are being observed. In particular, any member of the Committee has the authority to close any bar or require the sale, supply or consumption of alcohol to cease in the event of any breach of licensing law, the licence conditions or the Bar Rules or of any disorderly or unseemly behaviour on the part of those on the premises

12. Playing live or recorded music

The Management Committee holds a combined Performing Right Society (PRS) licence for the performance of live music and Phonographic Performance Licence (PPL) for the playing of recorded music. This combined licence covers private and non-commercial hirers of the premises. Commercial hirers who play live or recorded music in connection with their business activities must obtain the appropriate copyright licence from PRS/PPL and comply with any conditions thereof. The playing of music and any dancing must finish no later than 11.30pm unless, exceptionally, the Committee allows a later time.

13. Screening motion pictures

Hirers intending to screen motion pictures on the premises, whether through DVD or any other medium, are reminded that a copyright licence is likely to be required. Before any such screening, hirers must ensure that they obtain the relevant licence from the Motion Picture Licensing Company, Filmbank, the British Film Institute or other relevant film industry licensing agent, or obtain permission for the screening direct from the distributor or studio, as appropriate. Guidance may be obtained from the Independent Cinema Office. The Management Committee requires hirers to comply with any conditions attached to the relevant licence or permission.

14. Electrical appliances

Any electrical appliances brought on to the premises must be in good and safe working order with a current Portable Appliance Testing label. All such appliances must be unplugged and removed at the end of the hiring period. Any member of the Management Committee may refuse permission for the use of any equipment which he or she considers may be unsafe.

No portable heater of any type may be brought on to the premises.

15. Smoking

The Victoria Rooms are, by law, Smoke Free premises. The hirer is responsible for ensuring that nobody smokes anywhere on the premises. If the hirer allows smoking, both the hirer and the smoker could be fined. If the hirer has asked a smoker to stop smoking and they continue to smoke, the hirer must ask that person to leave the premises.

16. Insurance

Hirers must complete a public liability insurance form, available from the Bookings Secretary.

Our insurers require that commercial hirers and hirers whose activities involve contact sports, or the use of fireworks or large inflatable equipment (such as a “bouncy castle”), must hold their own public liability cover.  Such hirers must produce a copy of their public liability insurance certificate on booking.  (The Management Committee will not, in any event, permit the discharging of fireworks within the precincts of the hall.)  

Non-commercial hirers who do not hold public liability insurance maybe covered under The Victoria Rooms’ policy. 

17. First Aid

The First Aid kits are in the kitchen and in the store room with the accident book. All accidents, however minor, should be recorded by the hirer.

18. Damage

The hirer is responsible for any damage, defacement or spillage which occurs on the premises during the hiring period. The cost of any necessary replacements, repairs or cleaning will be deducted from any deposit taken and/or will be charged to the hirer as appropriate.

Hirers must not use screws, nails, pins, adhesives or adhesive pads or tape to fix items to the internal walls, the doors or other painted or varnished surfaces. Drawing or map pins may only be used on the pin boards. Velcro fixings only are to be used on the grey display boards in the main hall.

19. Advertising events

Hirers should ensure that any advertising or other marketing material makes clear who is to benefit from the event or function. In particular, care should be taken to avoid confusion between commercial and charitable purposes.

When advertising any event, function or performance to be held on the premises, the hirer must not resort to fly-posting or any other form of unauthorised advertising, nor cause or permit any other person to do so. Hirers are reminded that fly-posting and unlawful advertising may lead to prosecution.

20. At the end of the hire period

The hirer must ensure that:

  • the building is left in a safe, clean and tidy condition
  • all radiators in the Reading Room, rear corridor, toilets and store rooms are set at their No 1 setting – please do not alter the timer control or adjust any of the boiler settings
  • the two larger gas heaters in the main hall are set at No 1 in accordance with the instructions posted near them – please do not alter any of the other controls
  • the fan-assisted gas heater (on the far wall of the main hall) is switched off
  • all lights are off
  • all waste/recycling has been disposed of properly and food waste removed
  • all internal doors are shut
  • any tables, chairs or other items removed from their normal storage positions are returned there, with stackable chairs stacked no more than six high
  • all property brought into the building is removed, unless the Management Committee has allocated storage for it
  • the building is properly locked and secured by locking the front door, the side entrance and the iron gate, unless otherwise directed
  • any keys are returned to the Bookings Secretary (Mr Geoff Elson at The Granary, 4 Woodbarton, Milverton), unless otherwise directed