Significant projects and programmes

Defra investment in the ACRE Network

ACRE acts as the broker for the government’s strategic investment in the ACRE Network. For the period 2021 to 2022, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has committed £1.7m to support core network activity in support of rural community projects, encourage shared learning between members and access to local intelligence.

Rural Housing Enabler Programme

We are delivering a £2.5m programme on behalf of Defra which is backing ACRE Network Rural Housing Enablers (RHEs) to work with communities and help them secure small scale affordable housing schemes that fit in with the local area. Support includes help with assessing local need for housing, and brokering conversations with planners and socially minded developers to identify and bring forward suitable schemes.

Village Halls Grant Fund

We are pleased to be managing a £3 million grant fund on behalf of Defra, to support the modernisation and improvement of village halls. The fund was originally announced by government in May 2022 to mark Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. In 2023, over £1 million was awarded to groups with ambitious projects, many of which were concerned with improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Smaller grants of up to £5,000 are currently on offer to support more modest endeavours.