The ACRE Network supports community engagement and entrepreneurship, the management of community assets and encourages communities to work with service providers.
From village appraisals and design statements in the 1990s, the Quirk Review & Asset Transfer in 2007 to Parish Plans and, more recently, Community Led and Neighbourhood Planning, rural communities continue to find ways to provide for their needs.
The Localism Act 2012 provides a framework for the development of social solutions to the challenges facing rural communities. In aiming to create great places to live and work, and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area Government introduced the Community Rights which devolve power from Government to communities.
- Community Right to Bid - Allows people to express an interest in acquiring property, such as buildings or land for the benefit of their community should they come up for sale.
- Community Right to Challenge - Enables communities to an express an interest in taking over a local authority run service.
- Community Right to Build - Aims to make it easier for local people to deliver small scale developments including housing and community amenities.
The Rural Community Buildings Loan Fund can provide funding for groups that are using one of the Rights to acquire, refurbish or extend a community building.