Slides from our AGM 2016

thank youWe would like to thank all the speakers who gave presentations at Northamptonshire ACRE’s recent AGM 2016. It was a very good evening, with a wide range of topics covered and all helped along with some great music from acoustic trio Whalebone. If you would like to download the slides from the presentations they are available here. Particular thanks goes to Sir John Robinson Bt DL for kindly standing in for our President, David Laing, and opening our AGM.

Olive – Our new online oil ordering system

Our oil buying schemoil lorrye is changing. The Northamptonshire ACRE Community Oil Buying Scheme has been operating since October 2011.  Developed with the aim of helping people in homes, community buildings and businesses in rural Northamptonshire to save money on their oil, particularly those in fuel poverty, our scheme has helped members save over £80,500 against average prices quoted with over 1.7million litres of domestic heating oil being delivered.

The scheme is working well for our members but to ensure that it continues to deliver such good value, we need to grow the membership. To do this effectively it is essential to improve the efficiency of the scheme and to this end, we have been working with a company, eSmartMetrics, to install an online ordering system, olive, that will replace the current paper based scheme.

oliveAs of 1st August 2016 you can register your details on olive  and then order and pay for oil online. We will no longer be charging a membership fee, instead a small levy will be applied to the oil order each month. But be assured, you will continue to receive prices well below the market level.

For more information download the FAQs our see the bulk oil buying page.

Find out about smart meters

acre-smart-energy-gb-logoSmart Energy GB

Did you know that even though you are off mains gas you can get a smart meter for your electricity supply?

We are working with our partners in the ACRE Network and Smart Energy GB to raise awareness of the smart meter smart-meters-1roll out. We’re promoting smart meters to off mains gas residents in Northamptonshire. We are proud to be working with Smart Energy GB to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to engage in the smart meter rollout, regardless of personal circumstance or where they live.

For more information click here.

2017 Best Village Competition forms now available!

bvc-16-all-winners-at-hhc-12-july-2016-2We are very pleased that the Best Village Competition will be running again this year, thanks once again to the generous sponsorship of Hollowells Funeral Plans. The Competition is open to all villages with populations up to 6,000. There are three different categories based on village size: Small, Medium and Large. There is also a special award for best ‘newcomer’ to the competition. Each category carries prize money of £250. In addition to this, the prize money for the overall winner will be £1000.

More information and application forms are available here.

Calling all women entrepreneurs

women-gender-symbolFollowing on from last year’s inaugural Women’s Enterprise Day, the 2016 follow up event is being held at Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham on Thursday 17th November. The day is dedicated to showcasing local talent, sharing inspiring stories and giving you insider tips on how to be more successful in business. There are a large range of fantastic workshops to choose from, sensational speakers, Artizan Avenue and even a Living Library zone. Tickets are just £50 for the day including lunch. Click here for more details.

New timetable for our Information Bus

Cropped view of RIC with side and back bannersThe latest timetable for our information bus, that is visiting villages two days a week as part of our Lottery funded Rural Wellbeing Service, is now available to view here. Find out where the bus is visiting over the next three months and if we are in your village, why not come along and speak to Linda or Dawn, our Fieldworkers. If you would like the bus to visit your area, why not call us on 01604  825883?

Helmdon is Northants 2016 Best Village Competition winner

bvc-16-all-winners-at-hhc-12-july-2016-2The Best Village Competition celebrates the quality of life and community Printspirit of Northamptonshire’s villages. This year’s Presentation Ceremony was held on Tuesday 12th July at the Hunsbury Hill Centre where Annette and Paul Hollowell of Hollowell’s Funeral Plans presented delegates from the winning villages with their cups and certificates.

Congratulations to the village of Helmdon, that gained the prestigious title of Northamptonshire Best Village 2016 and won the top prize of £1000, which can be used for village projects. The village of Syresham was the runner up. The full results are available here.

We would love your old garden tools!

Do you have any old garden tools that could still be useful but that you no longer need? Or maybe you have a shed that needs clearing of pots, tools or even plants? If so, please give us a ring on 01604 765888 and we would be happy to collect them from you for use at the Hunsbury Hill Centre in any of our community projects. We always need more and are very grateful to everyone who has donated in the past.

You can continue to donate tools to the scheme by contacting us on 01604 765888 or email  

Making a difference in rural communities

Defra case study NACREEvery year, ACRE produces a report about the value of what has achieved by the RCAN network with the Defra investment. The 2014-2015 report Making a difference in rural communities throughout England reveals the £2.3m investment from Defra for 2014-15 enabled a further £9.03m to be levered into the country from a range of local and national sources. big lottery logo

On P12 of the report you will find a case study of our innovative Rural Wellbeing Service, funded by the Big Lottery and that aims to tackle rural isolation and loneliness. Download the report here.