Wednesday, 06 May 2015 07:34

Village hall advisers discuss funding

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Village hall advisers discuss funding

SPECIALIST advisers who support England's 10,000 rural village halls are to hold their annual training event.

On the agenda for the 41 delegates will be issues that help to keep village halls at the heart of rural communities - from funding and investment to energy and employment.

The two-day event, from May 12-13, brings together village hall advisers from 36 counties from Cornwall to Cumbria to share their knowledge and best practice.

Speakers will include representatives of the Big Lottery Fund, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Revenue & Customs, Locality and the Yorkshire Association of Local Councils.

Solicitor Jonathan Dawson will be holding advice surgeries and there will also be a session with the Charity Commission.

The event is organised by village hall advisers from across the West Midlands with the support of Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

ACRE is the national voice for the network of 38 rural community councils that employ advisers to support the 80,000 volunteers who manage rural community buildings.

Rural community buildings officer Deborah Clarke said: "Village halls are hugely valued by their communities for playing a multi-purpose role, serving as a social centre, arts centre, sports centre and in some cases providing education, health or retail services.

"The volunteers who manage them need specialist support, which demands time, expertise and money.

"Our network of advisers is working hard to maintain this service against a backdrop of rapidly reducing funding for professional support organisations.

"The annual training event is a great opportunity for the advisers to get together and share ideas about how to help village halls survive and thrive."

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