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Who's involved in Big Local?

July 2015

Many people are involved in making Big Local a success. But three partners are especially important in the funding and planning: the Big Local partnership, Local Trust, and the locally trusted organisation. The relationship looks like this:

Local Trust and the Big Local partnership

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When we endorse a Big Local partnership, the chair of the partnership and the chief executive of Local Trust sign a Memorandum of Understanding. This document sets out and agrees the relationship between them.

Local Trust and the locally trusted organisation

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When we endorse a Big Local proposal or plan, we set up a grant agreement with your locally trusted organisation(s). This document sets out our expectations of them as your locally trusted organisation(s), as well as their responsibilities in regard to Big Local money. We fund your locally trusted organisations(s) directly on your behalf.

The Big Local partnership and the locally trusted organisation

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Big Local partnerships choose their locally trusted organisation. The main role of the locally trusted organisation is to receive, administer and account for Big Local funding on the partnership's behalf, as set out in their grant agreement with us.

Others involved in Big Local

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We encourage you to involve as many people as possible in shaping and delivering Big Local. Who you involve, when and for what reason, will vary from area to area. 

Some areas have set up a working group to focus on a particular priority, such as green spaces. That group is then responsible for planning and delivering those activities with local organisations. Other areas have set up groups that are responsible for a particular project, like a community event or festival. The people who take part in the group don't have to be the same as those in the Big Local partnership. For more information about this see our guidance on volunteering.

And while you might have just one locally trusted organisation, you may want to work with other organisations to provide services and activities. Your locally trusted organisation will fund these organisations on your behalf. It will also be responsible for putting in place appropriate funding agreements and arrangements in line with their normal policies and procedures.

Who delivers the activities in your plan?

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Even if a number of organisations are involved in delivering your activities or services, your locally trusted organisation and your Big Local partnership will have oversight of your Big Local plan. The partnership has overall control, and the locally trusted organisation has legal and financial responsibilities.

Before or after you produce your plan, your Big Local partnership can choose who is to deliver the activities and services. This may depend on how your locally trusted organisation works: for example, it might need to follow its own employment or commissioning processes, in-line with its own policies or procedures.

The processes will be different for each area, but might include:

  • putting out a call for ideas from organisations and groups that can meet your priorities
  • carrying out a tendering process - where you set out the activity or service you want with a specified budget, and people make proposals (submit tenders) for the work
  • offering grants that community groups or charities can apply for to deliver activities to help you meet your priorities
  • running participatory budgeting activities - where the wider community can vote on who receives grants
  • providing loan-funding through a community-development finance institution or a credit union
  • negotiating with an organisation you know to provide a service or deliver activities.

Here are some case studies to show you how other areas have moved from planning to action. These may give you some ideas for your plan. The method or methods you choose will depend on what you want to do. 

We expect each partnership to agree and follow a process that suits their Big Local area. 

If your partnership decides that it wants support from a paid member of staff, see our guidance on workers for Big Local.

Download guidance

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