Our Services


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Your parish may already be a member of Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils (NCALC) and you may be wondering why the parish should also be a member of Northamptonshire ACRE (NACRE).  If your parish has any governance, council procedure, technical or legislation queries relating to running a parish or require any Councillor or Clerk training in order to carry out your duties, then NCALC is the organisation you need. But if you need support or advice around engaging with your residents to carry out a community project such as setting up a Good Neighbour Scheme, carrying out a neighbourhood plan, developing a community shop or pub, or starting a community transport scheme, then NACRE can help.

Becoming a member of NACRE is an effective and rewarding route to build connections, access information and support and ensure that rural communities like yours are strong, successful and well represented.  

In these uncertain times, it is now more important than ever that the voice of rural communities is heard at all levels of government. By becoming a Parish Council member of Northamptonshire ACRE, we can help your voice to be heard. This is particularly significant given the wholesale restructuring in local government organisation in the county, which will inevitably have a direct impact on Parish Councils.

And as a Rural Community Council, one of 38 throughout England, we form the ACRE Network and together the members work tirelessly to make sure the rural voice continues to be heard at a national level as well as at a local level.

By becoming a member of NACRE you will help us to sustain the charity to continue working on your behalf and together we can ensure that rural communities matter.

We offer two different memberships. 


Our Parish Council membership offers excellent value at only £35 a year.  As a member, Parish Councils can benefit from:

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Good Neighbours Schemes - we can offer free training, support and advice with policies, safety information and more. We have received National Lottery Community funding to establish further Good Neighbours Schemes in Northamptonshire and for those villages that set up a scheme we can offer up to £700 for start-up costs.

Community Transport Schemes – Are you keen to help your rural community combat isolation and enable access to essential services? We can assist you with setting up and promoting your Community Transport scheme, which can be included in our detailed directory of community transport providers that our Rural Officer has produced.

Networks & Representation – Building stronger connections between rural communities and representing their needs and priorities to policy makers. We also have regular free Parish Council Network events for our members. Please see our website for more details about our events: https://www.northantsacre.org.uk/parish-councillor-network-meetings .

Rural Consultancy services - including project planning, community engagement projects, assisting in setting up community shops or pubs and other rural services. Discount on our charged for services, such as training events, assistance with housing needs surveys, development and facilitation of community engagement events.

Northamptonshire Village Awards – our annual awards celebrate the achievements of Northamptonshire villages. 


Neighbourhood Planning – advice on practical support to help with the development of neighbourhood planning. Discount on OCSI profile reports highlighting key statistics in your area and assistance with housing needs surveys.  Please see below for a list of Neighbourhood Plan rates.

Bulk Oil Buying Scheme –helping residents in villages who are off gas to get the best possible price for their heating oil in order to save them money.


Our team of staff provide a unique range of representation and support services tailored to meet the needs and priorities of our members in rural Northamptonshire. Most of the services we provide are discounted for members. We also offer the opportunity for Councillors to meet up regularly with other Parish Council members at our Network meetings in an informal setting and hear from selected speakers.

As the only organisation dedicated to rural community matters in Northamptonshire, we are in the unique position to provide bespoke support specifically tailored to meet the needs of rural Parish Councils in their work for their communities.

We also work to ensure that other organisations rural proof their policies and services in order to ensure our wonderful villages are not forgotten in any planning or legislative development, which is even more important in the light of the unitary restructuring within the county.

We are an established organisation, trusted rural representation and increasingly asked to work with other agencies/organisations to ensure the rural voice is heard.

To join, please download our Membership form and return to [email protected]



Like our Parish Council membership, our Community Facilities Membership is great value for only £40 per year. This membership is open to all village halls, commuity centres, sports and playing field associations. As a Community Facility Member you can benefit from:

  • FREE telephone and email advice (up to 5 hours)
  • FREE electronic copies of National ACRE’s invaluable Village Halls Information Sheets (charged to non-members)
  • FREE electronic copies of the bi-monthly Community Facilities Newsletter (with all the latest news affecting community halls and open spaces)
  • DISCOUNT on the cost of purchasing National ACRE’s model legal documents including Model CIO Constitution, Model Trust Deed, Model Hire Agreement
  • Regular e-bulletins containing the latest funding news, legal and regulatory changes and other issues of immediate relevance to community facilities
  • Access to specialist legal advice from National ACRE’s legal advisers
  • Periodic updates about the benefits and services provided by Northamptonshire ACRE and The Barns at Hunsbury Hill (our trading arm)

In addition our Community Facilities Advisor can provide advice in connection with all aspects of managing community buildings, church halls and open spaces on matters including:

  • Compliance with legal and regulatory obligations such as charity law, Charity Commission regulations, licensing, insurance, risk assessments and policies
  • Governance covering trustee roles, updating your governing document and becoming incorporated
  • Funding and grant applications
  • Training on topics such as social media, PAT (Portable Appliance Testing), Playground Inspection and Governance

To join, please download our Community Facilities Membership Form and once complete, please return to [email protected]



Is your village or group thinking of doing a Neighbourhood Plan? If so we can help. Below is a breakdown of our charges for the various aspects of delivering the Plan. If you would like more information please contact our Rural Officer on 01604 765888 or email [email protected]