‘Innovating for the future’ is this year’s campaign theme. As Richard Quallington, Executive Director, at ACRE explains; “Village halls have been making a difference to rural communities for over 100 years. But change is inevitable, and the future is increasingly unpredictable. So, we want to help halls think about how they can respond to this challenge; whether that be extending their offer to residents, taking action on climate change or becoming more financially sustainable.”
There are plenty of examples of community buildings that are already innovating for the future. Like Bickerton Village Hall that offers a whole host of activities and events for different people in their community including film nights, dog training classes and occasional arts and theatre performances. Or Beechwood Hall, the first community building in the South East to use integrated renewable energy from three sources – ground source, wind and solar.
Village Halls Week will be launched Monday 24 January at The Victory Room in Bucklebury, Berkshire with a headline speech by The Rt Hon Lord Benyon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Rural Affairs – an event that will be livestreamed by ACRE.
The campaign is being supported by a range of different organisations, including the 38 members of the ACRE Network who provide year-round advice and information to hall committees and corporate partners Norris & Fisher (Insurance Brokers) Ltd, Ansvar Insurance and Zurich.
Notes to editors
Media contact: Phillip Vincent, email@example.com 01285 425645.
Village Hall Week pledge cards and further guidance on getting involved in the campaign can can be downloaded from ACRE’s website.
The launch of village halls week will be livestreamed to ACRE’s Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts at about 11am on Monday 24 January.
ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is a national charity speaking up for and supporting rural communities. It is the national body of the ACRE Network, England’s largest rural grouping of county-based local development charities which together reach over 35,000 community groups annually, and lever in over £34 million each year in support of rural communities.
*In 2020, ACRE published the findings of a comprehensive study of village halls in England, drawing attention to their social and economic impacts.