Defra and MPs will meet communities awarded funds from the Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund
by Felicity Humphrey,

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) runs the annual campaign Village Halls Week which celebrates the community spaces at the heart of rural communities. This year promises to be extra special as the week kick starts in the House of Commons.

London may not seem like the natural setting for a rural celebration, but numerous village halls will make their way into the capital to meet Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Defra’s Rural Minister and their MPs.

Village Halls are the heart of rural areas. They provide a space to host vital services, which can then be accessed locally. The ACRE Network has worked to support these amazing assets for the best part of a century - we are delighted that those who give up their time, for free, to run these facilities will now have their week in the spotlight. Join us for #VillageHallsWeek and add your voice to the celebrations

The halls taking part have all been successful in receiving awards from The Treasury, Defra and ACRE’s £3m Village Halls Improvement Grant Fund which was launched in April 2019 by ACRE, Lord Gardiner and Robert Jenrick MP, previously Exchequer Secretary at The Treasury. The grant exists to helps older halls with repairs and improvements, meaning they may continue to serve their communities and avoid facing closure.

Village Halls Week is a national campaign which celebrates the services provided by halls and the volunteers making it possible. Many halls provide a space for shops, cafes, pop up pubs, nurseries and doctors. They are an essential part of rural life. Village Halls Week ran for the first time in 2018 and this year 650 halls are due to take part in the campaign.

ENDS

Notes to editor

  • ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is the national body for 38 charitable local development agencies. Together we make up the ACRE Network. We speak up for rural communities on the national stage and deliver projects that enable our communities to find innovative solutions to the challenges they face.
  • There are 10,000 village halls in England
  • Approx. 1,000 village halls host a community enterprise such as shop, café, post office
  • Village halls week will run from Monday 20 January to 26 January 2020

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Contact: Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Flick Humphrey 07842 820 592 f.humphrey@acre.org.uk

ACRE: 01285 653477