Census of Rural England’s Village and Community Halls to launch this week.
by Deborah Clarke, Village Halls/ Rural Evidence Manager

Census of Rural England’s Village and Community Halls to launch this week.

Following on from a highly successful Village Halls’ Week that involved over 700 village halls, actively engaged 18 MPs and attracted coverage from BBC Countryfile, national Newspapers and resulted in #villagehallsweek trending on Twitter, ACRE will launch a national survey.

ACRE has carried out this comprehensive Survey every 10 years and in 2020 is pleased to be working with Power to Change and Sheffield Hallam University.

The Survey will be distributed to 10,000 village halls across England by the ACRE Network members and is a crucial piece of work. ACRE will use the data to help secure funding for halls, to ensure that advice and information adapts to the challenges facing volunteer hall committees and that the ACRE Network can continue to provide the very best support.

We are extremely grateful to all the hall committees that give their time to manage village halls and will take the time to complete this survey

ACRE wants to encourage all kinds of community buildings that provide facilities for their communities to take part. Not just traditional village halls but community centres, sports pavilions, church halls, churches providing community use, community centres, Miners Welfare Institutes, WI halls and community pubs providing meeting rooms.

ACRE’s Board member, Louise Beaton, commented

”Whilst it’s essential for us to have the hard data as evidence to support our work the information collected will paint a picture of the social and economic impact on communities of having a hall in their community and it provides a detailed look at social change over time.

We are extremely grateful to all the hall committees that give their time to manage village halls and will take the time to complete this survey”

To find out more the Survey has a dedicated page on the ACRE website.

END

Notes:

  • 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 supported by the ACRE Network.
  • ACRE leads the annual January #VillageHallsWeek campaign
  • Evidence from the 2009 survey allowed ACRE to argue the case to Robert Jenrick MP, then Treasury Minister, for the £3 million Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund, and he said at the launch he hoped it will continue “if we can provide the evidence”.
  • ACRE has regularly used evidence from Surveys in 1988, 1998 and 2009, both for village halls in achieving licensing changes and informing policy as well as in its wider work such as the House of Lords inquiry into the Rural Economy.

Funder: Power to Change Contact: Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Flick Humphrey 01285 653477 f.humphrey@acre.org.uk