ACRE supports launch of toolkits for rural communities
by Deborah Clarke, Village Halls/ Rural Evidence Manager

Village halls and similar rural community buildings are the heart of communities and volunteers managing them need support to ensure the buildings they are using are fit for purpose. This can involve considering which is the most viable space to maintain in a small community and ensuring that space includes access to the latest technologies. These toolkits will provide some of the information communities need to consider their options.

A new, updated and extended version of ‘Crossing the Threshold: a step-by-step guide to developing a place of worship for wider community use and managing a successful building project’ was launched at the beginning of November. First created in 2009 by the Diocese of Hereford the toolkit offers guidance for parishes as they start to consider changes they could make to their buildings where they have a vision for it to be opened up for wider usage whilst maintaining it as an active place of worship. The toolkit is free to download here

The Digital Venue Toolkit has been produced by Plymouth University with the support of the ACRE Network and in particular Cornwall RCC as well as other partners. The toolkit is structured around outlining the rationale and making the case for online access, providing information about what digital skills and access means in a rural venue and a step-by-step guide explaining what needs to be done. A PDF copy is available here Digital Venue Toolkit but hard copies will be available to the ACRE Network.

‘We are keen to encourage all rural community buildings to get online and embrace social media. The next generation taking over as volunteers and trustees will expect up to date facilities’

‘We are keen to encourage all rural community buildings to get online and embrace social media. The next generation taking over as volunteers and trustees will expect up to date facilities’ commented Deborah Clarke ‘Alongside promoting Plymouth University’s toolkit we are working with the Phone Co-op to encourage halls to get online and to take advantage of the Phone Co-op’s Start-up Fund’.