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How our way of funding puts residents in the driving seat

We’re pleased to publish new research from the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR), that shows how our way of funding puts residents in the driving seat.

The research identifies that resident control is our core principle, and shows how we apply this in Big Local, our first and major initiative. The report describes four distinctive features of the way we fund, all built on our commitment to putting residents at the heart of lasting change.

Distinctive features of our funding approach

1. Time and pace

Big Local areas have at least ten years spend their funds. The areas are not bound by annual spending targets – they can decide when, as well as where, to spend.

2. Willing to take risks

We have a positive attitude to risk and accept that not everything will succeed. We also emphasise the importance of building strong relationships with Big Local areas as the basis for trust. We balance the need for proper oversight of public money with the commitment to not interfere.

3. ‘Light touch’ and flexible

We provide ‘light touch’ support to Big Local areas. This type of support is enabling, not ‘doing
for’, in line with principles of resident control. It is there when areas want it, with a flexible range of options on offer.

4. Sustainability through maximising assets and investing in communities

We maximise assets in Big Local areas by bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from residents, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live. As Big Local activities progress, residents build long-term networks and capacity. We also promote sustainability in Big Local areas by supporting their involvement with social enterprise, community businesses, skills and job training, social investment and local credit unions.

Find out more

You can read the full research report here or view a summary leaflet here.

To find out more about how our funding model works in practice, view our programme guidance for Big Local.

If you have any questions about the research, please contact Jayne Humm, Programme Manager at Local Trust.