Empowering Rural Sustainability: The Net Zero Guide for Village Halls

As members of the Rural Services Network, you're undoubtedly aware of the challenges rural communities face in achieving sustainability and efficiency. One cornerstone of these communities is the village hall - a hub for gatherings, celebrations, and local events. Recognising the critical role these halls play, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and Stagg Architects have taken a significant step forward by publishing a comprehensive guide ‘Village & Community Halls: A Net Zero Design Guide’ to assist village and community halls in their journey towards Net Zero.

Released during the recent Village Halls Week, the guide is not just a testament to ACRE's commitment to rural sustainability but also a practical tool for community leaders and volunteers. Deborah Clarke, ACRE’s Village Halls Manager, emphasises the guide's intention to be "a simple, practical and helpful resource" for hall committees. It's clear that the timing and the thought behind the creation of this guide align with both the urgent need for action on climate change and the increasing accessibility of green technologies.

The guide is enriched with case studies, demonstrating achievable results through the dedication of small volunteer groups across rural England. What stands out in the guide is its practical approach, starting with the fundamentals of assembling a project team, through the intricacies of funding and grant applications, to detailed guidance on energy use, insulation, and the installation of renewable energy sources. It's clear that the journey to Net Zero is seen not just as a technical challenge but as a community project that can enhance cohesion, inclusivity, and the wellbeing of rural areas.

ACRE’s work is a beacon for rural communities, showing that even the smallest village hall can contribute significantly to the fight against climate change. By following the guidance, not only can these halls reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs, but they can also become more comfortable, inviting spaces that serve their communities more effectively.

More information and access to the free guide can be found here.



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