What is Big Local?
Big Local is about bringing together all the talents, passions, aspirations, skills and energy of individuals, groups and organisations to make their area an even better place to live and work. Birchfield is one of just three Big Local areas in Birmingham and is an exciting opportunity for residents to use at least £1 million to make a lasting positive difference in their communities.
The funding for Birchfield was announced in the second wave of Big Locals in February 2012. A Big Local Partnership of local residents and organisations was formed and work on the Birchfield Big Local Community Plan began. Following a Community Conference at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in April 2013 working groups were set up to create action plans around four key themes:
- Well Built Birchfield – making the most of the physical assets of the area
- Well Run Birchfield – celebrating cultural heritage and strengthening local democracy and participation
- Well Served Birchfield – enhancing local services for the young, seniors, and disabled residents
- Thriving Birchfield – developing the local economy
The action plans were shared at a second Community Conference in September 2013 and the final document was endorsed in February 2014. Birchfield Big Local is now up and running!
What are we doing?
A full-time Community Development Worker, Andrew Simons, has been employed and a part-time Volunteer Coordinator, Suki Sohi, appointed. Since the plan was endorsed, the priority for the Partnership has been making things happen.
The Partnership is renting office space at Grosvenor Road Studios, 16 Grosvenor Road as this is well placed within the Birchfield Big Local area and one of Birchfield’s best kept secrets – an internationally renowned recording studio and home to acapella group Black Voices.
Following a rigorous selection process in early January, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) was chosen by the Partnership members as the new ‘Local Trusted Organisation’ for Birchfield Big Local. BVSC act as the accountable body – administering the grant on behalf of the Partnership and also ensuring that the proper financial controls are in place.