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The Big Local Programme,
Managed By Local Trust

“There is a need to put more power, resources and decision-making into the hands of local communities, to enable them to transform and improve their lives and the places in which they live.”

Different By Design

Big Local is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and managed by Local Trust, providing over £1m to each of 150 communities in England over 10-15 years.

In terms of scale, time horizon and ethos, nothing like Big Local has ever existed. Designed from the outset to be radically different from other funding programmes, at its heart is a vision of empowered, resilient, dynamic, asset-rich communities making their own decisions on what is best for their area.

In contrast to conventional top down, project-led funding, the funding awarded to each Big Local area was provided to be spent at the communities’ own chosen pace, and on their own plans and priorities.

Big Local is:

  • Long term over 10-15 years
  • Resident-led
  • Non-prescriptive
  • Patient and non-judgemental
  • Accompanied by flexible and responsive support

The approach is designed to ensure residents’ time and energy is spent on their own terms, and on the projects they judge to be most important. The programme structure maintains this ethos while ensuring appropriate systems and checks are in place to account for funding.

Big Local Outcomes

The outcomes set at Big Local’s outset were deliberately broad:

  • Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them.
  • People will have increased skills and confidence, so that they continue to identify and The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.
  • People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.

These provide maximum scope for communities to set their own priorities. To help them make the most of their opportunity, residents involved in Big Local have been supported in developing and delivering their plans by an extensive programme of training, networking and light-touch on the ground support, provided by Local Trust and its partners.

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