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The latest updates and announcements impacting on the Big Local programme

11 January 2019

Update: Revised support from reps

To keep up with the changing and varied needs of Big Local areas we're updating the support reps offer

Support for Big Local areas

As the Big Local programme reaches the half way mark, the support available to partnerships is changing. There will be more opportunities to access support from Big Local in 2019, such as joining events, learning with other Big Local areas and working with support partners coming in 2019.

This year is also a good time for partnerships to talk to their rep about their support needs now and in the future. Reps work closely with partnerships to make sure they are informed, connected and supported, and they also provide a vitally important link to Local Trust, sharing key successes, challenges and news. We know how important they are to Big Local.

Revised support from reps

Over the past few months we have spent time listening and talking to reps and residents about the rep role, gaining valuable feedback and learning about what works well and what can be improved. It has given us a much better understanding how reps can best meet the changing and varied needs of Big Local areas. All of this has helped us to shape the revised support from reps and over the coming months, all Big Local reps will be switching to a new assignment.

The revised support from reps is clearer and more flexible than the previous assignment. It will help partnerships know what they can expect from their rep and reps will also be better equipped to identify and access additional support for partnerships, if it’s needed.

Informing partnerships

We don’t expect there to be significant changes in most Big Local areas and there will not be any reduction in overall levels of rep support provided to Big Local partnerships. A small number of reps have decided that they will not be continuing in the rep role going forward, and have taken up new opportunities - we thank them for their support and wish them well for the future.

As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will talk to Big Local partnerships that are likely to see a change in their rep support. We will work with these partnerships to make sure they are supported to make the handover process as smooth as it can be.

If your partnership has any questions or concerns about changes to the reps role, Jayne Entwistle, Head of area support, will be happy to hear these and discuss how to resolve them: jayne.entwistle@localtrust.org.uk.


FAQs for Big Local Areas

Why is rep support changing?

  • Because Big Local areas needs and priorities have changed over time, and the feedback from reps and partnerships was that the old approach was too vague and inflexible.
  • Local Trust has calculated that some Big Local partnerships will need more support as the end of the programme approaches in 2026, and has revised the rep support framework so that this can be provided.
  • Being able to access additional support, on a case by case basis, will help partnerships deliver their Big Local area plan.
  • Support from reps is one element of the support we provide to Big Local areas. You can find out more about Support from Big Local 2019.

What are the benefits?

  • The new support from reps will give partnerships greater ownership over the type of support their rep provides and access to a wider range of support, skills and specialisms on a case by case basis.
  • Reps will be able to plan their ongoing work for Big Local with more certainty, and have the opportunity to develop or broaden their specialist skills.
  • Everyone can expect greater clarity about what reps will deliver month by month, what extra support is available.

What will be different?

Following this change, Big Local partnerships should talk to their rep about their support needs now and in the future. They will have a much clearer understanding of what support they can expect from their rep, and reps will also know what support they are expected to deliver.

Reps have also been provided with a clear framework to help them access appropriate support for partnerships. The 3 types of support available via reps are:

  • Core rep role, provided to every area and a Local Trust requirement
  • Bolt-on support delivered to a partnership by their own rep, as and when needed, as agreed by the partnership, the rep and Local Trust.
  • Specialist support from a wider pool of vetted consultants, including reps from other areas as agreed by the partnership, the rep and Local Trust.

When will the revised support begin?

The revised support from reps will be rolled out from April 2019 onwards. The exact timing will depend on when each rep’s current assignment is due for renewal. This could be any date from April to December 2019.

Big Local partnerships can prepare by talking to their rep about their current and future support needs in early 2019.

Who was consulted over these changes?

Over 2018, we redesigned the rep role in consultation with Local Trust staff, reps, Big Local areas (including resident consultation) and the rep advisory group (made up of 6 current reps and Local Trust staff). We want to thank all reps and Big Local areas who took part in the consultations.

Will our rep change?

We expect that most reps will want to maintain or increase their involvement with Big Local and some will choose this moment to leave the programme. In some cases reps will be moved to different Big Local areas if their skills better match the needs of that partnership.

All reps have been offered the opportunity to continue working with Local Trust. We are running a selection process to ensure the quality and consistency of rep support is even across all 150 Big Local areas and this will conclude in early 2019.

Is rep time being reduced?

No. Reps provide a key element of support and are highly valued by Big Local partnerships and Local Trust. There are no plans to remove or reduce the level of support provided by reps to partnerships. Reps will continue to be the eyes, ears and voice of Local Trust in Big Local areas, and we are expecting reps to spend more time supporting Big Local partnerships in the coming 3-5 years.

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21 December 2018

Blog: Support from Big Local 2019

As the Big Local programme reaches the half way mark, here’s some of the support available to all Big Local areas in 2019.

Click on the link below to view an infographic which is also available to download as a PDF.

Read more.


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17 December 2018

Blog: Getting the most out of open data

Lindsay Street, our researcher, explores how Big Local areas can use open data to enlighten their decision making.

One of the principles of the Big Local programme is that residents know best about what the community needs and therefore have control of how to spend their £1 million. But how can partnerships make even more informed decisions, combining their knowledge of the local area with different types of data?

In Matt Leach's blog, Putting data into the hands of communities, he talks about how open data is an important piece of evidence that can be used to inform decision-making at a hyper local level. But using open data isn’t meant for just ‘techy’ people - here are a few tips and important things to know to help you use it better.

Read the full article.

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17 December 2018

Blog: New ​learning cluster: Social change and campaigning

Adam Smith, senior programmes coordinator, shares how this new learning cluster could help your Big Local to change hearts and minds

Do you know what is meant by ‘campaigning’ and what it means to achieve social change?

Our new social change and campaigning learning cluster launches in February and will delve into how campaigning contributes to social change and how it can help your Big Local. If you’re interested in taking part, please email programmes@localtrust.org.uk and visit our event page.

Read the full article.

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13 November 2018

Blog: Statistics and stories - the advantages of community research

Taz Virdee from Heston West shares what his area has learned from community research, and how a new toolkit from ARVAC can help your area get started.

What we were looking for

“We wanted to check if our mission was still accurate. The previous research we had was a few years old and possibly outdated and we needed to go back and consult to see if our mission is still what our community wants and needs.

We also wanted to find out what people thought our legacy should be. We found out that they were keen for us to carry on, and used workshops to find out what we’re already doing that people liked and what they wanted us to focus on in the future. We now know that arts and health and wellbeing are really important.

Read the full article.

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22 October 2018

Blog: Meet our journalist-in-residence

Local Trust’s new roving reporter is ready to get stuck in and start gathering Big Local stories – if you would like her to pay a visit to your area just get in touch.

My name is Louise Tickle. I’m a freelance journalist, and I’m delighted to be able to say I’ve been appointed as the Local Trust’s first ever ‘journalist-at-large’.

Read the full article.

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27 September 2018

Blog: Two new learning clusters get the green light

Adam Smith, Senior programme coordinator at Local Trust, shares news of two brand new learning clusters in project management and how to achieve effective social change.

Big Locals are tackling big issues, and that means making the most of the opportunities and assets in your area. Participating in learning clusters means you don’t have to face these issues alone.

Read the full article.

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25 September 2018

Blog: 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.

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.

Read the full article.

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31 July 2018

Blog: Big Local reps: an update

More than six years into the programme, areas are now in delivery. So much has changed and we are continually reviewing and trying to learn from your experiences to evolve and adapt the support we make available to you.

A crucial part of the support we offer are Big Local reps and that’s why over the next few months we will be working with you and the reps to review and make plans for what the support will look like in the future. Many reps have been involved in the programme since 2012 and we think now is the right time to review and consider how the role should evolve. This is because we have a better understanding of the rep role, the types of priorities and activities you are focussing on, the things that you are finding more challenging, as well as the commonalities and differences between places.

Read the full article.

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23 July 2018

News release: New arts funding programme seeks to put communities in the driving seat

A £4 million funding programme enabling communities to transform themselves through arts and creativity is being announced today.

A joint initiative by the Big Lottery Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and Local Trust, ‘Creative Civic Change’ will support communities to address specific social issues and make positive changes in their areas.

Read the full article.

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26 June 2018

Blog: A strange kind of magic

Matt Leach, Local Trust chief executive, reveals why he thinks Big Local Connects, our biggest ever gathering of Big Local areas, was such a positive celebration of creativity, engagement and connection.

What happens when you get 126 Big Local areas, some 450 local residents, a long haired karaoke singer, a poet, a museum, zombies and any number of over-excited teenage community reporters together in central London on one of the hottest weekends of the year? Some kind of strange magic, that’s hard to explain unless you were there at the time.

Read the full article.

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28 March 2018

News release: Pilot project pairs The Academy of Urbanism with 3 Big Local areas

Project will explore a unique approach to resident-led placemaking.

In an exploratory pilot launched today, 3 communities that are part of the £150m resident-led Big Local programme [1] will work closely with a panel of specialists from The Academy of Urbanism [2], to explore how their neighbourhoods could take better advantage of local assets and address planning and urban design issues.

Read the full article.

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27 March 2018

Blog: The more things change

We recently completed the third annual partnership review - this is what we found.

Since 2015 Local Trust have ran a yearly review so we can get a sense of how Big Local partnerships are doing. The responses we receive help us better understand how partnerships change, or remain the same over time.

Read the full article.

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28 February 2018

Blog: Big Local Connects: You are invited!

We’re kicking off our new approach to learning and networking with an event that’s open to all Big Local areas. By Rachel Rowney, director of programmes and resources.

"I’m really excited to be announcing the first event aimed at bringing together all 150 areas in one place: Big Local Connects, which will take place on 29 and 30 June in London.

Read the full article.

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29 January 2018

Blog: Legacy - what does it mean to Big Local?

Jeremy Yung, senior researcher at Local Trust, outlines some of the key ideas and themes revealed in our latest report ‘The legacy of Big Local’

What’s all this about legacy?

Who could forget the summer of 2012? For 28 days Great Britain basked in the success, both on and off the playing fields, of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Where were you on Super Saturday when team GB brought home six gold medals? Who could forget Usain Bolt’s sprints to three gold medals?

Read the full article.

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16 January 2018

Blog: Questions for the Behavioural Insights Team

Kizzy Gandy, Senior Advisor at BIT, answers questions about the exciting new offer for Big Local areas.

What are behavioural insights?

They’re the ideas and evidence that help to explain the decisions humans make. Like how we’ve all thought of switching energy providers for a better deal on our gas and electricity, but the hassle of filling out the form has put us off, even though we could save money. We are all influenced by a range of ‘biases’ similar to this, which can lead us to make judgments which are not always in our best interests. In fact, seemingly small factors can be hugely influential. Understanding this allows us to design services and programmes which benefit more people and change how people behave.

Read the full article.

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19 December 2017

News release: UnLtd and Local Trust announce new support offer to help social entrepreneurs in Big Local areas

£2.8m invested in building sustainable and socially-beneficial local economic growth in communities around England.

Social entrepreneurs are improving their local communities up and down the UK, working hard to respond to specific challenges in their areas. In a new partnership, UnLtd [1], Local Trust [2] and 19 Big Local areas will be working together to accelerate social enterprise and increase local job creation over a three-year co-funded support programme.

Read the full article.

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19 December 2017

Blog: Funding visions of the future

We hear from three Big Local areas, and their very different experiences of securing additional funding for their community.

In October representatives from twelve Big Local areas attended a learning and networking event in Milton Keynes hosted by Conniburrow Big Local partnership. We invited Peter Lewis from the Institute of Fundraising to give perspective on different sources of funding, and three Big Local areas to shared their experiences with fundraising.


Read the full article.

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28 November 2017

Blog: Small but powerful changes

Big Local areas are invited to apply to work with Behavioural Insights Team.

A new support offer for Big Local areas will explore how insights about human behaviour – from psychology and behavioural economics – can help to increase participation, impact and understanding about what motivates people to get involved.

Read the full article.

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27 September 2017

News release: New support for communities to own and manage land

Local Trust and Shared Assets announce partnership to support Big Local areas.

Residents in 150 areas in England will be supported in developing and sharing skills to manage land – such as parks, waterways, woodlands and green spaces – according to the needs and aspirations of local people, thanks to a new partnership between Local Trust [1] and Shared Assets [2] launched today [27/09/2017].

Read the full article.

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2 Jan 2019: Our office is open but our phones are not working. Please email us at info@localtrust.org.uk while we fix them and we will respond to messages as soon as we can.

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