Frequently Asked Questions

What is Big Local?

Big Local is an exciting opportunity for residents in 150 areas around England to use at least £1m to make a massive and lasting positive difference to their communities. It’s about bringing together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.

Big Local is being run by Local Trust, which is working with over £200m from the Big Lottery Fund and a range of partners providing expert advice and support for residents.

The four programme outcomes for Big Local are:
1. Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them.
2. People will have increased skills and confidence, so that they continue to identify and respond to needs in the future.
3. The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.
4. People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.

What’s it not about?
• It’s NOT about your local authority, the government or a national organisation telling you what to do.
• It’s NOT about individual groups fixing their favourite problem without talking to a wide range of different people who live and work in the community.
• It’s NOT about short-term thinking – you’ve got 10 years or more to plan and deliver the best options for your area.

All Big Local areas are required to develop a Big Local plan that builds on what is good about the area; provides community-wide benefits; responds to local priorities; and aims to meet the Big Local four outcomes.

Who decides how the funding is spent in the area?
Grace Mary to Lion Farm (GM2LF) Big Local partnership is responsible for making the decisions about how best to spend or invest the funds based on the agreed vision and plan for the local area. The vision and plan were created by local residents and will be reviewed annually. The partnership is supported by a locally trusted organisation which is responsible for administering the funding in line with the plan. The locally trusted organisation for GM2LF Big Local is Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

What is the Big Local Partnership?
Big Local is a resident-led initiative and every Big Local has to have a partnership made up of local residents and representatives from local groups/organisations active in the area. There is a requirement that a majority (at least 51%) of partnership members should be local residents.

How can I get involved in Big Local?
There are many ways for people to get involved in GM2LF:
• Volunteer to join the partnership or join one of the partnership sub-groups focusing, for example, on media & communications; environment, well being, learning and finance.
• Volunteer to help with one of the Big Local supported projects in the local area; or help with tasks such as office administration; newsletter production and delivery; organising community events and much more.
• Contribute your ideas about how to make Grace Mary to Lion Farm a better place to live through the website and social media, participating in surveys when asked or simply by giving us a call, arranging to meet face to face, or sending an email or letter.

If you would like to find out more about how to get involved please contact Kate Cross, Lion Farm Action Centre. (Contact details below)

How do I join the partnership?
Initially we ask people interested in joining to complete an expression of interest form.

There is a set limit to the number of partnership members, due to practical reasons of that there can only be so many people attending partnership meetings at any one time.

Partnership members have to commit to regular attendance at meetings and there is a requirement that the balance of members remains in favour of local residents – residents have to be in the majority.

What is the role of the local trusted organisation?
SCVO is the local trusted organisation for GM2LF Big Local. SCVO act as the accountable body and administers the funds on behalf of GM2LF Big Local, ensuring that the proper financial controls are in place.

How much money will each Big Local area get?
Each Big Local area will receive at least £1million over the ten-year period, based on an agreed Big Local plan put together with local residents and in response to local priorities. Big Local is not just another grant programme; areas can also use the funds to make social investments such as personal loans, micro finance, small business and civil society loans or commission services. Social investments mean that some of the funding distributed in each area comes back and can be reused in the area or invested to create a legacy. Areas can also access free support, funding for social entrepreneurs and free networking and learning events to increase skills, capacity and learn from other areas and organisations.

How do I contact GM2LF Big Local
Click this link to find our contact details

How do I get a copy of the GM2LF Big Local Plan?
Click this link to see the GM2LF Big Local Plan

Local Trusted Organisation contact details
1st Floor Landchard House,Victoria Street, West Bromwich. B70 8ER
Tel: 0121 525 1127
Registered charity number: 1071514. Registered company number: 3570517..