Thursday, March 1, 2012

News: Thurcroft secures £1m lottery windfall


The community in Thurcroft, Rotherham has secured £1m to spend on making their area a better place to live as part of a pioneering Big Lottery Fund (BIG) scheme to put decision-making power in the hands of local people.

The community of the former pit village will get to decide how to spend the funding to improve their local area over the next 10 years. This could include anything from creating new community facilities to starting up training and employment schemes, tackling anti-social behaviour, or providing more activities for young people.

Residents will also benefit from a range of support, training and networking opportunities to enable them to make best use of their funding.

The money comes from a £200m Big Lottery Fund scheme called Big Local, which aims to give communities a leading role in making decisions about how to improve their area and tackle local problems.

The communities selected to receive the £1m Lottery funding have a history of difficulty in getting support and funding - from the Lottery and elsewhere - and may face a range of issues, for example, the decline of local industry, high unemployment or low average wages, or a pressing need for new support services or activities.

Vanessa White, Head of the Yorkshire and the Humber region at The Big Lottery Fund, said: "This funding scheme is going to put residents in these areas at the heart of decision making and give them a real say in how to improve their local area. But more than that it's going to strengthen these communities and help local people to build on their skills and experience so that they can continue to work together to overcome challenges, address local problems, and make a positive difference in their communities over the next ten years, and beyond."

The Lottery funded scheme is being managed by Local Trust, a recently established, independent organisation set up by the Community Development Foundation and its consortium partners to run Big Local. They will work in close consultation with residents in each area to support them and offer guidance on their plans.

Rather than using the money to simply allocate grants for initiatives, residents are encouraged to use different, more sustainable ways of financing, for example giving loans or funding social enterprises, where money could be reinvested in the community.

Big Local website


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