We have a close relationship with Cirican, a rural research and consultancy agency set up by 18 members of the ACRE Network. Because it is run by people with experience of rural community issues, it is able to offer a specialist service backed up with a wealth of connections.
As part of this relationship, we have routine meetings with departmental personnel at which we provide comment on policy proposals which could have an impact on rural communities (see Rural Proofing).
ACRE also administers the Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund of £700,000 on behalf of Defra, which provides financial support to village hall management committees to improve facilities for their communities.
ACRE is a member of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition which campaigns to influence government and other bodies to take action to end fuel poverty and thereby improve people’s health and quality of life as well as seeking to reduce the cost of living, create jobs and negate carbon emissions in the process. It is a broad coalition of over 20 anti-poverty, environmental and health campaigners, local authorities, trade unions and consumer organisations.
Norris & Fisher (Insurance Brokers) Ltd, who provide specialist insurance for village halls have joined with Ansvar Insurance to become corporate sponsors of the ACRE Network’s advice and information service which supports volunteers managing these buildings. The sponsorship is helping us to consider how to sustain and develop the service so that it is fit for the future, especially as community groups increasingly look for support online.
Post Office Advisory Group
ACRE is a member of the Post Offices Advisory Group co-ordinated by Citizens Advice. Citizens Advice is the statutory advocate for postal consumers in England and Wales. The Post Offices Advisory Group enables stakeholders to share news on developments relevant to the post office sector, and facilitates policy development.