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Connects FAQs

We hope we have all of the answers but if you still have questions please reach out to us at

How many people from my Big Local area can attend?

A maximum of three people can attend from every Big Local area. This is to make sure all areas have the chance to come. There will be a waiting list, so, if more than three people from your area do want to attend, email with the additional name(s) and we will let you know if spaces become available.

How do I get there?

We will cover all travel costs to and from Connects.

By train 

The closest mainline train station is Nottingham. You can book your own train tickets or, if you need assistance and are a resident, we can book tickets for you. We can also arrange passenger assistance at stations if needed. We will ask you about travel when you register.

If you ask us to book your travel for you, we will send you your booking details by email.

If you are based in the East Midlands region, you may find Beeston station is more convenient, however we are only organising coach transfers to the main station in Nottingham. Do contact us if you have any specific requirements.

Please note: we can only cover the cost of regular fare tickets, not first-class tickets.

By car

The venue address is East Midlands Conference Centre, NG7 2RJ. There is complimentary guest parking on site.

To claim reimbursement for your travel or mileage you can fill out an expenses form and forward that to us with copies of your receipts. Both paper and online forms will be available at the event or you can complete one beforehand.

What about accommodation?

We will cover accommodation for all Big Local area residents on Friday night. If you need accommodation for an additional night, because of access needs or the distance you live from the venue, please let us know by email at or by phone at 0203 588 0423.

We can also cover care expenses, for residents, on a case-by-case basis. We are currently looking into options to provide childcare at the event and will share more information when we have it.

Do I have to attend the whole weekend? 

No, you can come on either just Friday or Saturday. You will be asked which days you plan on attending when you register.

When does registration close? 

You can register up until 29 September. Registration opens at the beginning of June.

My Big Local area has closed out / will have closed out by the time of Connects, can we still attend?

Yes. This will be the final Connects where all 150 Big Local areas can attend free of charge.

How do I find out more about the event?

We’ll be keeping the website, Workplace and our social media pages up to date with all of the latest exciting announcements about upcoming sessions and fun things you can get involved in – keep your eyes peeled!

If you are not able to attend, please let us know by emailing because we might be able to offer someone else on the waiting list your place.

Why is this the final connects?

After five amazing Connects, this will be the last Connects held whilst the Big Local programme is at or near full strength. By the autumn of 2024, around half of Big Local partnerships will have closed out and many of you will have moved on to do other things (or be rightfully resting!) and so a Connects held in autumn 2024 would have nothing like the same energy, atmosphere, or amount of people to Connect with!

We want to go out on a high and use this final Connects to celebrate Big Local and look forward to whatever comes next. There will of course be other events in the future – but as the programme winds down, these will inevitably look and feel different.

Childcare at Connects

We will have a creche available to support parents or carers who would like to attend Connects and need support with childcare.

You need to request a space by Friday 8 September, using the link below.

*Please note, the creche is now closed for applicants.*

Request a space at the Connects creche

Who is the registered childcare provider for the creche at Connects?
What is included in the childcare?
What ages will the childcare provision be for?
I have more than one child, can I receive childcare for each of them?
What will the childcare provision cost?
When do I have to express an interest in using the creche by? And what is the process after that?
I’ve expressed an interest in accessing childcare support, now what? Should I register for Connects?
I’ve already signed up for Connects, can I still express my interest in accessing childcare support?

Still got questions? 

Send us an email on or give us a call on 02035880423 and one of the friendly team will get back to you.

Every year we strive to make sure Connects is accessible and open to absolutely everyone. If you or someone in your partnership would like to come to Connects but is worried about their mobility or the accessibility of the event, please let us know and we’ll work to ensure that their needs are met.