Big Local is about half way through its life with some wonderful and powerful stories to tell of resident led action and change.
All investment within Big Local areas and the activities being funded must be completed by 31 March 2026. Any remaining money will be returned to the National Lottery. No funding can be put aside for activity or organisational support beyond March 2026. (Additional money that local areas raise through or on the back of Big Local can be used without conditions from Local Trust.) It’s possible and perfectly legitimate for your Big Local area to finish funded activity before March 2026 and such areas will have the continuing opportunity to remain part of the Big Local community and take part in learning and research activity.
You can read more about this in the article online here
Spending Out – Getting the most out of Big Local now and in future
Chris Falconer, Head of programme delivery at Local Trust, outlines what happens on the lead up to 2026 and beyond
The half way point
Big Local is now in its sixth year and approaching the half way point in the programme. Local Trust was set up in 2012 as the charity responsible for administering Big Local and as the programme, and partnerships working to deliver it in the 150 areas mature and become increasingly ambitious, we are seeing a huge range of activities that are empowering and improving the lives of people and their communities.
Naturally, when working on any project or programme thoughts turn to the future, or ‘legacy’ and how to plan for it. No more so than in Big Local which clearly sets out to create positive and lasting change. Whether this is an informal discussion within the partnership, working with partners to define long term aspiration in a plan, or working with other Big Locals at one of the clusters, a number of common questions are arising that this blog can help clarify.
Nothing quite like Big Local has ever existed before and as a programme it intentionally aims to reduce the rules and red tape to give residents the power and control over how best to use the £1million grant. There are, however, some clear parameters that govern the programme that we need be mindful of in planning over the next few years.
The programme will close in 2026
Big Local Trust was set up by the Big Lottery Fund as an expendable endowment, which means the money must be spent by March 2026. This is the fixed end point that all Big Locals must work to. Ultimately, the intention is for Big Local Trust to close as an organisation in February 2027, though we hope and expect many of the benefits within the 150 areas to endure well beyond this point.
This also means that all grant funding awarded under the programme, and activities supported by it, must be spent and finished by March 2026. There won’t be an option to transfer the £1million grant funding in any form beyond this point and any unspent money will need be returned to the Big Lottery Fund. This includes the additional £105,000 awarded to all areas in the autumn of 2017 to make the total grant of £1.1m. Clearly this is something we want to help all Big Locals avoid, as our priority is supporting partnerships to spend this money to achieve positive outcomes in their areas, so it’s important to plan with this in mind – particularly over the next few years when many will be drafting their penultimate or final plans. We would recommend aiming to ‘spend out’ by Autumn 2025, just in case there are any delays to any of the activities you are delivering.
A minimum 10 years on plan
Every partnership will have at least 10 years to spend their grant. There has been some confusion over whether this was a maximum or minimum timeframe.
If your plan was endorsed before 2016 you can spend the funding before ten years have passed or continue beyond that – we just ask that you spend the funding before March 2026. This should ensure partnerships have as much time, space and support as possible to achieve their ambitions, and also reflects the fact that we topped up all 150 grants as a result of the income earnt on the investment.
There will remain the flexibility to adapt and change plans up to the end point of the programme where it contributes towards achieving local priorities within the March 2026 timeframe.
Activities with a direct impact on the area
Money awarded through the Big Lottery Fund endowment has been done so with the intention that it is spent on activities within the 2012 – 2026 timeframe that have a positive impact on the area. We see a vast array of examples of this ranging from employing staff to work with and in the community and events and activities promoting participation, to the purchase of a hub or funding the improvement of the natural or built environment.
In thinking about legacy, some Big Locals have been exploring governance and legal possibilities to enable them to continue delivering work in future, either through the existing partnership or perhaps as a constituted body. While it is possible to use Big Local funding to explore options and potentially incorporate partnerships, Big Local money cannot be ‘awarded’ to any organisation to hold beyond March 2026 – it must be spent on activities directly related to the improvement of the area by this point or returned to the Big Lottery Fund.
Money raised separate to Big Local
We know that some areas have raised funds for their areas in addition to Big Local money. For example, through running community events or making social investments. This money is in addition to the grant funding awarded through Big Local and is therefore not subject to the same rules.
What if we spend out early?
Big Locals start from different points and progress at different paces. A number are likely to have spent all grant funding well in advance of the programme end date. Those areas that do so will still have plenty of opportunity to remain involved in the programme through the learning and networking programme we run over the remaining years, our evaluation and research projects and communications work showcasing the brilliant things Big Local has achieved.
Chatterbox Café Open for Business
At 7am on Monday 16th October, Chatterbox Cafe at St Martins Church and Community Project opened it’s doors to the public. ABL Chair, Edith Lang was the first customer through the door and despite the heavy rain and chilly air received a very warm welcome from the whole Chatterbox Team. Through the course of the day, dozens of inquisitive residents, community leaders and workers dropped in for a bite to eat, a hot cup of tea and to have informal meetings in the light and airy café.
Two weeks in and the cafe is a thriving centre of activity. Edith say’s ‘ it’s just really nice to be able to meet friends and family here in the heart of our own community for lunch, or to catch up over breakfast meeting before the business of the day’.
Opening hours are 8am until 2pm Mon – Sat
Local Charity, The Enthusiasm Trust Receive Prestigious Queens Award
We were incredibly proud to join Enthusiasm for young people recently as they were presented with Queens Award for their services to volunteering. It was a huge celebration for Joe Russo, Heather Russo and the whole organisation, as well as for our community, It’s not everyday that we get such a momentous recognition of the work that goes one here.
Enthusiasm was founded right here in Allenton 25 years ago and continues to transform the lives of local young people today, as well as young people in many other communities across the East Midlands and North West regions. Joe Russo, Enthusiasms Founder said that ‘Enthusiasm seek the good in young people that few others see’. The Queens Award is essentially an MBE for the organisation, the highest award possible and in 2018 Enthusiasm are the only charity in Derbyshire to receive the award. Congratulations Enthusiasm
This new report shows some good examples and some learning about effective partnership working with local authorities. The key five findings make interesting reading:
1. Recognise what each partner is trying to achieve
2. Take active steps to build trust
3. Maintain ongoing dialogue and honest communication
4. Be flexible and adaptable
5. Develop shared ownership and accountability
OSCAR TRACKS BMX EVENT – Tuesday 4th September 2018 ~ 12noon – 3pm!
Senior Citizens Afternoon Tea – Saturday 15th September 2018! 2.30pm – 4pm
Allenton Big Local would like to invite our local senior citizens from the neighbourhood to join us for Afternoon Tea on Saturday 15th September. We’ll have a great afternoon getting to know one another and having fun together with plenty of chit chat to go along with fresh cakes, sandwiches, treats and lashings of tea; as well as a raffle and some of our favourite tunes.
It’s free of charge and open to any senior citizens in Allenton.
If you’d like to join us, or invite a family member or neighbour then give us a call or text to 07792455442 – if we can’t get to the phone, leave us a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can.
We have 40 places available on a first come first served basis.
Please let us know if you want to attend by no later than midday on Thursday 13th September.
N.B. We will try to cater for everyone including vegetarian, halal and gluten free.
If you do have any special dietary needs or allergies though, please feel free to bring a few goodies of your own.
How Things Are Run At Big Local!
Our Big Local Rep, Bill offers information on how Big Local is run Big Local – doing the right thing right (1)
St Martins Church and Community Center!
Important Information About Your Personal Data!
Derby Homes Volunteer Celebration!
Free Dance Sessions Build Skills, Relationships and Confidence !
Ten Years and One Million Pounds!
Allenton is one of 150 areas that have been awarded £1 million to make a lasting and positive difference in the community.
“Big Local” funding is a 10-year programme with the aim of making a significant difference to the local area and long-lasting change to the lives of the people who live and work in the area. You can read more about what Big Local is all about here.
It’s an exciting opportunity for residents around England to use at least £1 million to make a positive and lasting difference to their local community. The Allenton Big Local project is about bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.
The four programme outcomes for Big Local are:
- 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 respond to needs in the future
- The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises
- People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.
Our vision for Allenton Big Local area is for a stronger community by bringing about visible change through raising aspirations, opportunities and skills.