WHAT IS BIG LOCAL?Big Local is a fund set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help local communities invest in projects identified by the residents of an area, town, village or group of villages that will make a long lasting and positive difference to the local community. 150 Big Local areas have been established in England and each Big Local area has £1,000,000 to invest in their community over a ten year period.
An area in south-east Northumberland containing the four villages of Cresswell, Ellington, Linton and Lynemouth was chosen as one of the 150 areas to be a Big Local area. This area is now known by the acronym CELL.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The most important thing is that the whole thing is “resident led” - you the residents decide on what would improve and benefit the area. These requests and ideas are collected into a two-year plan and submitted to the national Big Local controlling body (the LocalTrust) for approval.
When approved, funds are released as needed and implementation left to the local residents. To make sure all the money released by the Local Trust is properly spent and accounted for, a Locally Trusted Organisation (LTO) has to be selected and approved. The LTO functions as employer and banker. As already stated, the most important part about the funding is that the residents of CELL decide what the money should be spent on, so local resident involvement is essential. Before the Local Trust release any money a prescribed “roadmap” must be followed to ensure that the aims of residents are met and the projects invested in will provide improvement, regeneration, and leave a lasting legacy for residents to enjoy after the funding ends. Much has been done to encourage CELL residents to take part in this exciting project. The rules require that a Partnership body of local residents and representatives of professional/charitable bodies be formed to take responsibility for the projects, and monitor progress and spending.
WHAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED?Since CELL received Big Local area status in 2014 much progress has been made:
- Lynemouth Resource Centre was appointed as our Locally Trust Organisation (LTO) for the period 2015-2017.
The function of the LTO is to be our banker and ensure the money allocated by Local Trust is spent only on the projects approved by the residents of the area.
- A door to door survey was carried out in 2014 and followed up by number of public consultation meetings which were held around the four villages in CELL. The Local Plan document for 2015 and 2016 was put together and approved by residents and subsequently by the Local Trust (Big Local's national body).
- A magazine, CELL LIFE, is published three times a year, and delivered to every house in CELL to keep you informed of current events.
- CELL is overseen by a Partnership made up of ordinary residents with talent, ambitions, skills and energy who want their area an even better place to live.
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?We are just about to start work delivering our second two-year plan, covering the period 2017-2019. A copy of this plan can be found in the documents section of the site. YMCA Northumberland has been appointed as our Locally Trusted Organisation for the next two years.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TEN YEAR PERIOD?The project will close after about 10 years, or when the £1M (plus interest) has been consumed. No further funding will be available from the Local Trust, but our aim after the money has been spent is to have enhanced the facilities available to all residents and made CELL a better place to live. You can help us achieve this aim by getting involved – please do not miss this opportunity to make a difference.
THE TASK GROUPSFollowing a survey carried out 2014 in the CELL area six Task Groups, made up of volunteers, were established to deliver those improvements identified by the survey, incorporated into our LOCAL PLAN and approved by the Local Trust.
The Task Groups are:
- CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
- HOUSING & COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
- STRENGTHING COMMUNITIES