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Knowledge and learning curator

6 month contract, up to £60K pa pro rata, depending on experience

Closing date: 15 August 2017

We are looking for a talented in-house writer/researcher/communicator to work with us to capture and document learning from the biggest and longest running place-based funding programme in the UK.

Local Trust was established in 2012 to deliver Big Local, a Big Lottery-funded programme which committed £1m to 150 local areas in England. The £217m provided by the Big Lottery Fund to support this work is the largest single purpose Lottery-funded endowment ever made, and the biggest ever investment by a non-state funder in place-based, resident-led change.

Big Local was designed to be radically different from the outset.  Built around a vision of empowered, resilient, dynamic, asset-rich, resident-led communities, rather than conventional top down, time-limited, project-led funding, the £1m awarded to each Big Local area can be spent over 10-15 years by local residents on the basis of their own plans and priorities. The only requirement at the start of the programme was that residents work together to form a common vision for their area and agree priorities that are captured in a deliverable plan aimed at making a difference to the things that matter most to them in their community. 

In terms of scale, time horizon and ethos, nothing like Big Local has ever existed.  Its ambition extends well beyond simply providing grant money to enable activity to take place on the ground. 

Now, five years into the programme, and with place-based investment becoming an increasingly important part of the public debate – something that was not the case at the outset of our programme - we want to ensure that the lessons from the first five years of Big Local are effectively captured and understood, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing external operating environment.

We’ve invested heavily in robust academic evaluation of our progress to date.  We have a huge amount of data and information captured from our work over the last five years.  And an immense reserve of knowledge embedded across our committed workforce.  We now want to capture and codify the lessons and learning within Big Local in ways that ensure we retain the experience and expertise we have developed across our team and our partners, particularly as internal and externally based staff increasingly turn over, some five years into the programme. 

Whilst the primary audience for this work is internal, and intended to benefit our Big Local areas through improving our own performance as a programme manager, we’re also aware that what is captured may be of interest to a wider audience of policy-makers and practitioners, to inform and influence future practice around approaches to supporting and funding communities and neighbourhoods, particularly those facing multiple deprivation-related challenges.

We are therefore looking for a fantastic communicator with high levels of productivity, superb written and oral presentation skills, capable of engaging with staff, stakeholders and Big Local communities, reviewing existing evidence and evaluation, capturing learning from across Big Local and presenting it in ways that are accessible and engaging. 

Responsibilities

  • Working with staff, partners and stakeholders to capture and codify organisation-wide knowledge (both formal and informal) related to the establishment of Big Local and the work that is needed to manage, support and sustain it going forward.
  • Engaging with and drawing relevant information from evaluation, research and survey data commissioned and collated by all those who have been part of the delivery of Big Local, and in particular Local Trust and its direct delivery partners, since its creation.
  • Reviewing other sources of relevant information, research and insight into place-based investment that may provide context for and complement knowledge sources from Big Local.
  • Identifying key issues/questions/areas of interest/demand around which to prioritise an initial wave of content creation aimed at capturing and documenting cross-programme knowledge.
  • Developing a strategic approach to knowledge sharing capable of responding to interest and demand within Big Local areas, across the Big Local programme and beyond.
  • Creating/authoring content, including pamphlets, presentations, web copy, blogs and other relevant materials for recording and communicating knowledge from Big Local.
  • Working with the communications team to ensure that content is presented in a way that has maximum impact.

Person specification

  • Strong analytic/intellectual capability
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with one or more of neighbourhood/regeneration/community development/grant giving or related fields
  • Broad understanding of grant funding environment
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Self-driven, capable of working with a high level of autonomy and self-accountability
  • Ability to produce the highest quality content to demanding deadlines

Our expectation is that the successful candidate will come from one or more of public-facing policy/research, think tank, journalism/copywriting and/or professional communications backgrounds, but we are willing to consider exceptional candidates from other backgrounds, provided that they meet the relevant criteria in the person specification.

Terms

The post will initially be for a fixed term of 6 months. 

Salary up to £60k pa pro rata depending on experience.

We are willing to consider part time postings for a longer period of time, including on a flexible working basis, and those who might wish to spend some of their time working primarily from home rather than our London office (although engaging with Local Trust staff will be an important part of the role).

Application process

Application by 15 August by email to wendy.joynes@localtrust.org.uk

Applications should include:

  • Covering letter/email setting out your suitability for the role
  • CV (no more than 2 sides A4)
  • Links to or copies of a range of published written work/documents that you have produced in the last 2-3 years

Interviews end of August or early September, TBC

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