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Behavioural Insights Team partners with Big Local

Local Trust [1] will be working with the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) [2] in a pilot project to support Big Local areas wanting to reach and engage more residents.

The new partnership will explore how communities can use insights about human behaviour – from psychology and behavioural economics – to increase participation, impact and understanding about what motivates people to get involved in local activities.

In the first phase of the pilot project, Big Local areas will be invited to apply and five will be selected to work with BIT from March 2018. BIT will provide these areas with tailored expertise and intensive support as part of an exciting 12-month project.

The objectives of projects with BIT could include attracting people to join a Big Local partnership, increasing volunteer recruitment, driving up attendance at an event or building footfall at a community centre.

“This opportunity is designed for Big Local areas that find engaging people locally a challenge, and don’t always get the success they deserve,” said Rachel Rowney, Local Trust’s director of programmes and resources. “With the help of BIT, areas will be supported to look at their approach from a different angle, to make small and precise changes in what they say or do, and monitor the results.”

Essential information about the offer:

  • Open to all Big Local areas to apply.
  • Application deadline is Friday 31 January 2018.
  • Five areas will be selected for the initial pilot project, which will last 12 months.
  • Participating areas will contribute £30,000, match funded by Local Trust, towards the £60,000 project costs.
  • Full details and application form [3]


Notes for editors

[1] About Local Trust

Local Trust was set up in 2012 to deliver Big Local, a unique programme that puts residents across England in control of decisions about their own lives and neighbourhoods. Funded by a £217m endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund, it provides £1m of long-term funding over 10-15 years to each of 150 local communities, many of which face major social and economic challenges, and have missed out on previous funding.

[2] About Behavioural Insights Team

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a social purpose company. BIT is jointly owned by the UK Government; Nesta (the innovation charity); and its employees.

BIT started life inside 10 Downing Street as the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural sciences. Since 2014 BIT has expanded globally, with offices in New York, Sydney, Singapore and Wellington.

BIT works to:

  • Make public services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use;
  • Improve outcomes by introducing a more realistic model of human behaviour to policy; and
  • Wherever possible enable people to make better choices for themselves.

[3] Full details available at