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The Community Leadership Academy provides support for the people making Big Local happen, helping them to develop and share skills and knowledge that can benefit the whole community. Running until the end of 2022, it is designed to help people shaping the future of their communities.

Across Big Local, people are working together to create lasting change. If you have experienced challenges but overcome them, brought people together and helped build community spirit then you are already playing a leadership role. The Community Leadership Academy is designed to help your Big Local area achieve even more.

Created by Local Trust in partnership with Koreo, the Young Foundation and Northern Soul, the Community Leadership Academy provides structured support for community-led change as part of the Big Local programme and aims to increase our understanding of community leadership. Participants take part in a range of individual and group sessions, including personal coaching, to work on their own strengths and leadership style, develop leadership in others and set strategy.

Open to any volunteers actively involved in delivering Big Local projects, including Big Local partnership members, the Community Leadership Academy is looking for people who want to explore their own potential and the change they can bring to their neighbourhoods, by working effectively with others.

Read more about the Community Leadership Academy, including a blog by Matt Leach introducing the project, on the Local Trust website here. The Community Leadership Academy is a Big Local support offer. Providing at least £1m to each of 150 communities in England,  Big Local is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and managed by Local Trust.


Koreo has a mission to mobilise talent for social change. They specialise in co-designing leadership programmes, using coaching approaches to work in close partnership with participants to maximize the value of leadership development for individuals and groups.
Visit Koreo’s website

The Young Foundation

The Young Foundation works to develop better connected and more sustainable communities across the UK. Bringing together their own – and other people’s – work, they are building a shared body of evidence, tools and insight about how communities are taking action on the issues that affect them.
Visit The Young Foundation’s website

Northern Soul

Northern Soul is a consultancy based in West Yorkshire which focuses on championing the leadership and diversity in the North of England. They provide training, masterclasses and development for a more diverse stream of talent to be recognised. It was set up by Ruth Ibegbuna, a social entrepreneur and activist.
Visit Northern Soul’s website

Local Trust

Local Trust was established in 2012 to deliver Big Local, a unique programme that puts residents across the country in control of decisions about their own lives and neighbourhoods. Funded by a £217m endowment from The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest ever single commitment of lottery funds – it provides in excess of £1m of long-term funding over 10-15 years to each of 150 local communities, many of which face major social and economic challenges but have missed out in the past from accessing their fair share of statutory and lottery funds in the past.