THE man responsible for overseeing the running of Worcestershire's village halls will share his expertise with counterparts from across the country at a national conference this week.

Community First’s village hall adviser for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Richard Timney is one of 39 delegates from across the country meeting in Exeter to share their knowledge and expertise of running the valuable community buildings.

The two-day event starting on Tuesday, April 29 – now in its 15th year – is arranged by village hall advisers from the South West with the support of Gloucestershire-based Action With Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

Mr Timney said there are 10,000 village halls in England which are used for services including sport, retail, education and health.

“The volunteers who manage them need specialist support, which demands time, expertise and money,” he said.

“The ACRE Network of advisers is working hard to maintain this service against a backdrop of rapidly reducing funding for professional support organisations.

“The annual training event is a great opportunity for advisers to get together and share ideas about how to help village halls survive and thrive.”