Advice and support for Village Halls

England’s 10,000 village halls are at the heart of rural community life – providing a hub for social activities, classes and services such as post offices, doctors’ surgeries and shops.

Kids playing

Through its network of skilled advisers, ACRE supports the 80,000 volunteers who run halls and similar rural community buildings, such as church halls and community centres.

These specialist advisers have local knowledge and an understanding of the issues in your area.

Supported by ACRE, they help communities to manage their buildings by:

  • Providing information, training, advice – both face-to-face and through a range of publications
  • Building relationships with parish councils and public service partners
  • Carrying out research that provides detailed data on issues affecting halls.

On the national stage, ACRE speaks up for village halls, ensuring Government policymakers are aware of the challenges faced by volunteers who are often struggling with red-tape and the demands of managing a community building.

Our quality standards scheme for village halls, Hallmark, is available in 20 counties to reward and recognise good practice.

ACRE also manages the £700,000 Defra Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund which helps community groups with renovation, refurbishment and building projects.

The ACRE Network is one of four partners working with the Charity Commission to provide advice and guidance on land and property issues. ACRE’s model documents for village halls are approved by the Commission including the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) constitution for a village hall. The Village Hall Publications are available from your local village hall adviser.

#VillageHallsWeek is a new initiative starting in 2018. ACRE and the ACRE Network will run an annual celebration of the village halls and other community buildings, which exist at the heart of England’s rural communities. The aim of the week long campaign is to champion the diverse range of buildings which make up the 10,000 strong network and promote the sheer volume of services they offer. There will be an opportunity to say thank you to the volunteers who run the buildings and learn more about the groups, organisations, individuals and businesses who are making use of these buildings week in and week out. Predominantly the week will take place on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), however ACRE Network members will also host events to engage with people in their area.

For general village hall enquiries, please email Deborah Clarke, ACRE’s Rural Evidence Manger/Village Halls, or for local enquiries, please contact your local village hall adviser.