What is Big Local?
In December 2012 the St James Street area of Walthamstow won a £1million grant from the Big Lottery Fund as part of the nationwide Big Local initiative. The mission of the fund is to enable residents to make their communities and their areas even better places in which to live. They do this by helping communities develop and use their skills and confidence to identify what matters most to them, and to take action to change things for the better, now and in the future.

How does it happen?
The project is broken into 7 discreet phases shown below


What has happened to date?
In early 2013 local residents began working together to develop a ‘getting started’ plan, culminating in the formation of a Steering Group in June 2013. From then through to the end of 2015 the Steering Group was responsible for reaching out into the St James Street area to collect information to agree a vision, getting a good cross section of the community involved and collecting ‘wishes’. That information has been collated, reviewed and converted into a long list of 29 objectives. Vi a poll on this website, we then allowed the community to vote on their preferred objectives with the top 9 listed here:
1. Communal Spaces, Facilities & Activities
2. Environmental Improvement
3. Local Business Demography
4. Aesthetic Improvement
5. Safety & Security
6. Skills Development
7. Political Engagement & Development
8. Well being & Support
9. Accessibility

What sort of things can we spend the money on?
In short, anything that makes the area a better place to live.

What is the Trusted Organisation?
In the initial stages of the Big Local process, it is unlikely that there is an established community group which is sufficiently established to have a bank account and audited finances. The emerging Partnership will select a local organisation which can administer the enabling funds on behalf of the community and potentially offer payroll services if necessary. In the St James Big Local area, CREST has very kindly agreed to be our Local Trusted Organisation. Although CREST will be paid a very small sum to cover administrative costs, it is hoped that a mutually beneficial partnership can be formed, which will benefit the community and CREST into the future.

What is the Partnership?
The Partnership was formed at the conclusion of Phase 3 – Forming Your Big Local Partnership. There are more details about the Partnership on the dedicated Partnership page 

What is the Big Local is 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.

Any more questions?
There is a lot more information in the Library
Please go to www.localtrust.org.uk/big-local/ for more information on the countrywide initiative

How do I get involved?
Simply join the mailing list and we will