Review shows benefits of £2.25m Defra investment in ACRE Network
by Claire McGine, Head of Communications

A review of Defra’s £2.25m investment in the ACRE Network in 2013/14 shows how the funding has benefited rural communities across England.

The ‘Making a Difference’ report reveals the investment enabled a further £12.5m to be levered in from a range of local and national sources.

The funding enabled the ACRE Network of 38 rural community councils to provide support for local influencing, community action and intelligence-gathering across a number of key government priorities including:

  • The rural economy
  • Broadband
  • Rural services
  • Rural transport
  • Community energy generation and fuel poverty
  • Affordable housing and planning

ACRE’s Head of Rural Insight, Nick Chase, said: “This funding has helped to ensure that the rural voice is heard in local and national decision-making.

"This funding has helped to ensure that the rural voice is heard in local and national decision-making"

“Through our Network, we have been able to provide intelligence on the impact of Government policy in rural areas, representing 11,000 grassroots communities.

“Defra’s investment has enabled our members to provide direct support to communities - from helping people to get online or save money on their fuel bills, to advising them on setting up new social enterprises or community transport schemes. “Making a Difference showcases best practice examples of these community-led solutions to local challenges.”