Since July 2011 NANM has been working within a partnership of organisations, led by Local Trust, providing tailored support to neighbourhoods awarded funding as part of the BIG Lottery funded Big Local programme. NANM’s particular role is to support residents from different areas learn with and from each other. But it isn’t just about giving support. We are learning a lot in the process, and we intend to use these pages to share some of that learning as well as to signpost other facets of the programme that we think will interest members of the NANM network.
What is Big Local?
Big Local is about supporting locally valued, resident-led change. Through Big Local the Big Lottery Fund in England is investing up to £200 million in 150 urban and rural communities that have been overlooked for funding in the past. The funding has been invested as a charitable endowment so that at least £1m can allocated to each community to be spent over the next decade.
For all new Big Local areas the first major challenge is to get people involved. To get a dialogue going and a sense of excitement that goes beyond the core group of people who are already well connected. Areas are supported in these early stages, and later in the process of establishing a partnership and developing their plan, by one of a network of Big Local reps.
This is not the only support available to areas. Alongside the funding and support from their Big Local rep each area also has access to a range of additional advice and support from a consortium of national partners coordinated by Local Trust, the new organisation established to support areas in using their funding.
The 150 Big Local areas were announced in three ‘waves’. This, and the fact that it is resident-led and each community is different, means that areas are at various points along their ‘Big Local journey’. There is a map of all the Big Local areas, along with brief descriptions and links to their local web sites, on the Local Trust web site.
What is NANM doing in Big Local?
NANM’s particular role in Big Local is to support networking and shared learning across areas, complementing the support and learning that happens within individual areas. We:
- broker links between areas with shared interests
- facilitate workshops for residents to explore common themes, including on ways to get people involved, make the local economy less ‘leaky’, measure impact and encourage local shopping and healthy eating
- organise fact-finding study visits to areas that have a story to tell, for example Bristol to meet and talk to people who’ve set up projects that have stood the test of time, and
- help residents set up and use action learning sets to build capacity and implement change.
Sharing the learning
Over the coming months we will be adding some links to sections of the Local Trust web site that contain summaries and resources produced as part of these learning activities. In addition we will be writing some articles on this site to explore particular questions and draw out some of the broader learning.
Places to look for more information