Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) run 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 capitol to meet Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Defra’s Rural Minister and their MPs on Monday 20 January.
Kirkby in Furness Community Centre have been successful in receiving an award 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 over 650 halls are due to take part in the campaign.