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Key guidance and support for Big Local partnerships

We’ve gathered the most popular programme guidance to help Big Local areas provide the best support to their community.

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Getting to know Big Local

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What is Big Local?

Big Local is an exciting opportunity for residents in 150 areas in England - to spend £1million or more each on making a massive difference to their communities. Read more

Who’s involved in Big Local?

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. Read more

Big Local partnerships

A Big Local partnership is a group of at least eight people who guide the overall direction of Big Local in your area. The majority (at least 51%) of partnership members are people who live within your Big Local area. Read more

Locally trusted organisations

A locally trusted organisation is the organisation chosen by your Big Local partnership to administer and account for the distribution of your funding, and/or deliver activities or services on behalf of the Big Local partnership. Read more

Workers and Big Local

Many Big Local partnerships fund workers to support the delivery of Big Local. It might be someone to help manage Big Local tasks, such as a project manager; someone to engage with the community, such as a development worker; or someone to give specialist advice and guidance, such as a personal debt advisor. Read more


Big Local depends on volunteers - people who give their time and energy for the benefit of their area. That may mean helping steer a local project, or joining a partnership, or one of the many other ways in which people can take part according to their own interests, skills and availability. Read more

Jargon buster

Explanations to some of the language used for Big Local. Read more

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Delivering Big Local

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Delivering Big Local

This document sets out four different approaches that Big Local areas are taking to deliver Big Local plans, once these have been endorsed. Read more

The Big Local plan

The Big Local plan describes how your area will work towards becoming 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. Read more

Reviewing your Big Local plan

We need you to review your Big Local plan, so that you know if you have achieved what you set out to. Read more

Different approaches to being a Big Local partner

Each Big Local area partnership has its own way of working. Whichever approach you decide on, you will need to meet our criteria, as set out in our guidance on Big Local partnerships. Read more

Differences of opinion and conflicts within a Big Local partnership

This document is to help Big Local partnerships think about how to respond to differences of opinion and conflicts within the partnership. Read more

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Managing Big Local funding

This guidance is written for people in locally trusted organisations that have a funding agreement with Local Trust, and are responsible for administering and accounting for the distribution of Big Local funding. Read more

Big Local partnerships becoming their own locally trusted organisation

We know that some Big Local partnerships are interested in becoming their own locally trusted organisation, with a funding agreement with Local Trust. If you are considering this we have set out how we approach this, our requirements and some of the things you might need to do. Read more

Support and funding available to people in Big Local areas

Big Local is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and managed by Local Trust. In addition to your £1m, we provide a range of funding and support to Big Local areas to help you make Big Local a success. Read more

Social investment and Big Local

This guide will help you consider some of the different – and sometimes more innovative – ways that some of your funding can be used. Read more

Guidance on additionality related to Big Local money

Big Local is a programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and the trust deed for the Big Local Trust states that Big Local money “should not simply replace statutory funding that meets a statutory obligation". This means that Big Local funding needs to be ‘additional’ to public funding (things national and local government should fund). Read more

Funding agreements for Big Local plans

A funding agreement is a document that sets out the terms on which we fund an organisation with Big Local money, on your behalf. Read more

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Rules, regulation and governance

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VAT and Big Local

This guidance for locally trusted organisations describes the treatment of two types of payment for VAT purposes: payments from locally trusted organisations to third parties in relation to Big Local; and grants from Local Trust to locally trusted organisations. Read more


Safeguarding means protecting people’s health, well-being and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm (Care Quality Commission website). Read more


Any activities that you carry out as part of Big Local need to have insurance cover. In most cases, this will be provided by your locally trusted organisation. Read more

Concerns and complaints about Big Local

When concerns or complaints are brought to our attention we support those who are directly involved or affected to resolve the issue locally, as this leads to better and more lasting positive solutions and it encourages everyone to take responsibility. Read more

Compliments, concerns or complaints about Big Local in areas

This document is to support Big Local partnerships to think about how to respond to external compliments, concerns and complaints. Feedback can be upsetting and sometimes difficult to manage, while strong differences of opinion can result in conflict. So having an agreed way to respond can help avoid these problems. And a clear, open process is more likely to result in a solution and resolution. Read more

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This page describes the main principles of the GDPR and how it affects your Big Local partnership and relationships with Local Trust, your locally trusted organisation and your community. Read more

Code of conduct

A code of conduct is a set of rules or standards setting out how you, as members of the Big Local partnership and/or those actively involved, agree to behave. This includes how you behave towards each other and to others as a representative of Big Local in your area. Read more

Legal identity and governance models

You may be interested in the different legal options for setting up a new organisation to support the delivery of your Big Local plan. This might be because you want to plan and run community services or events; to own or manage assets such as buildings; to trade as a social enterprise; to generate income to operate beyond Big Local; or to involve more people with appropriate experience and expertise. This guidance describes the identity of Big Local partnerships in the eyes of the law, and raises questions to help you think about appropriate governance models. Read more

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Spreading the message

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Political activities and Big Local areas

This guidance updates our approach to what we mean by 'political activity' and explains what this means for Big Local areas going forward, providing a fuller explanation of what we mean in our grant terms and conditions. Read more

Bringing everyone together: why diversity matters for Big Local

Big Local is all about getting the widest possible mix of people involved to make a lasting, positive difference to their communities. This guide explains why this is so important. It also aims to show how diversity and equality are not pieces of jargon or political correctness, but can really help you get the best of your vision and plan for your area. Read more

Spaces for everyone: the Big Local guide to environment, people and place

Through Big Local, people will come together to build visions for how they would like their areas to become even better places in which to live. This guide offers advice about viewing the places and resources in the environment around us – and how this can help build that vision. Read more

Communications guidance

This guidance is to help with the conversation you're having about Big Local in your area. You need to make it easy for people to get involved, and keep them informed about what you’re doing, so that they can contribute and give feedback. Read more


Guidance on writing newsletters about Big Local in your area. A newsletter is a print or electronic publication that promotes your work and spreads the word. Read more

Working with local media

A good way to communicate with new audiences is by establishing good working practices and relationships with your local media - press, TV and radio, community magazines and newsletters. If you do get publicity for Big Local, please make sure that you let us know so we can share the success of your work with other Big Local areas, as well as our staff, trustees and supporters. Read more

Websites for Big Local areas and groups

Do you need a website? The answer to this will depend on various factors. What other means of communication already exist? Will you be able to set up a website, and also maintain it? Is it appropriate for the people you want to reach? Here are some notes to help you. Read more

Using social media

Social media are a great way to build your support base, connect with people you might not otherwise get a chance to talk to, and show a wide audience what you are doing. Read more

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