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Programme changes and new guidance

July 2015

We have made some changes to how we administer Big Local. This includes endorsing plans for the entire lifetime of the plan – not just one year. This gives you the chance to review your plan when it suits you, not necessarily annually. We will also make payments to your locally trusted organisation every six months, instead of every three.

We have made changes based on your feedback and the findings of the Big Local early years evaluation, which was an independent view on how things are going. The evaluators heard from over 400 of the people most involved in making Big Local happen and studied the progress being made in more than 100 Big Local areas.

If you joined us for a spring event in April then you heard about some of these changes. Those of you that we’ve spoken to welcomed the changes and we hope that this improves your experience of Big Local.

We updated our supporting guidance to reflect these changes and feedback from you, and also produced new guidance on topics that we have not covered before, such as partnerships becoming their own locally trusted organisation, managing differences within Big Local partnerships and safeguarding.

All guidance is available in the library section of on our website and you can either read it online or download it. We will continue to add further guidance going forward. We hope you find it useful. If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch with us.

Debbie Ladds
Chief executive, Local Trust

Big Local partnerships

The Big Local partnership is a way for people locally to guide the overall direction of Big Local in your area and provide recommendations in good faith about how their area can be improved. The partnership is responsible for agreeing a shared vision, creating the Big Local plan, overseeing its delivery, collecting evidence to show how the plan is progressing, and reviewing the plan and partnership to make sure they are working in the best way possible.

What's new

We know that some partnerships want to or already do more themselves, so we've focussed on the different ways partnerships choose to operate and what this means:

  • partnerships providing recommendations in good faith
  • partnerships doing some plan delivery (such as planning and running community events)
  • partnerships becoming their own locally trusted organisation and having funding agreements with us.

Read our guidance here:

By the end of the summer we will also be publishing guidance on legal identitiy and governance models for Big Local partnerships.

Big Local plan

The Big Local plan describes how your partnership will work towards ensuring your area becomes an even better place to live. It captures and builds on your vision, priorities and actions. It describes how your partnership will use a range of resources in the best possible way. We have received plans from 128 of the 150 Big Local areas and expect to receive the other 22 by March 2016.

What's new

Our endorsement of your plan will now usually cover the timeline of your plan. So if your plan runs from 2015-18, that’s the timeline we endorse and provide an offer letter for. We put together a payment schedule that sets out when your locally trusted organisation(s) will draw down funding to deliver the plan, with six monthly reporting by the locally trusted organisation to the partnership and us.

Read our guidance here:

Reviewing your Big Local plan

We ask you to review your Big Local plan, so that you know if you have achieved what you set out to. It is up to you how and when you review it, but when you submit your plan, we will ask you when you intend to carry out your review.

We ask you to:

  • tell us when you hope to review your plan
  • do at least one review during the time that the plan is active
  • submit your review before you submit a new or updated plan and ask to withdraw more of your funding.

The review contains nine questions.

Read our guidance here:

Supporting programme guidance

You can now access guidance on:

We will also be sharing guidance on:

  • Workers and Big Local
  • Managing Big Local funding
  • Legal identity and governance models for Big Local areas
  • Codes of conduct
  • Communications
  • Newsletters
  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Working with local media

Marketplace funding

In the past, we made available £2,250 each year to every area after a plan was endorsed. We called this Marketplace funding. Now, to make things more simple, we will add the total amount of £22,500 on top of your £1m. If you have already taken Marketplace funding, that amount will be deducted from the money we add to your £1m. Payments for this support in future will need to be costed as part of your plan.

The Marketplace directory is still available on our website. This is a central list of organisations or people offering specific services relevant to Big Local and you can continue to use it as a source of help and/or add organisations to it.


We’re making changes to the website. Your feedback will help us improve the site. Your feedback: