The ACRE Network is made up of the 38 county based members across England who help communities to help themselves.
Community Futures has a long-established history of leading, supporting and enabling rural community initiatives and is the Rural Community Council ACRE Network member for Lancashire.
From advising village hall committees and supporting good neighbour schemes to running oil buying clubs and assessing housing needs, the ACRE Network makes a real difference to rural communities.
The ACRE Network collectively:
- employs over 1,000 staff with a variety of specialist skills
- levers in over £34 million each year in support of local communities
- reaches 35,000 community groups and organisations across rural England.
Members of the ACRE Network have a strong ethos of working with each other to provide comprehensive support for rural communities across geographical areas. And through ACRE, their knowledge and insight is combined to inform national advocacy on issues that matter to those living and working in the countryside.
The aims of the ACRE Network are to:
- Support community-led action and strong local governance
- Increase the long-term sustainability of local community life
- Influence policies and services, particularly to achieve equity for rural communities.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has invested more than £9m in ACRE and its Network in the past four years in recognition of its unique ability to engage with both national and local government and rural grassroots organisations and communities.
This supports the work of Community Futures in helping communities find solutions to the challenges they face across themes including broadband, transport, services, the rural economy and housing.