Action with Communities in Rural England to shed five jobs in restructure

Chair Sue Shaw says the umbrella body was forced to make cuts, but has devised a financial strategy to continue its work

Sue Shaw
Sue Shaw

The umbrella body Action with Communities in Rural England has announced that five of its staff will be made redundant amid concerns about its finances.

The charity’s trustees said they decided to restructure the organisation to ensure a "sustainable future".

The organisation, formed in 1987, had an income of almost £4m in 2012, almost £1m less than the previous year.

Most of the departing staff hold administrative posts, although one has a policy role.

From next month, three senior managers will lead the charity, supported by six full-time staff. It will also move to smaller offices within Cirencester, Gloucestershire, to cut costs.

Acre, a national umbrella body of 38 local charities that form the Rural Community Action Network, said it would be working more closely with RCAN from now on.

It said this would include devising novel solutions to rural issues such as the bigger distance of people from services.

The news comes a fortnight after the announcement that Acre’s chief executive, Sylvia Brown, is to retire at the end of this month after 12 years in the post.

Brown was credited by Acre with turning round a failing organisation that had no sustainable income.

Sue Shaw, the charity’s chair, said in a statement: "It is a tough economic climate for the charitable sector and we have seen several fellow organisations go through similar restructures in recent months.

"The board wanted to ensure Acre was in the best possible shape to carry on its work. We are confident our new financial strategy will help us to continue to deliver on our contracts and focus on the issues that matter to rural families, businesses and workers."

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