Business GraphYour Questions Answered 

What is the Big Local Plan?
All Big Local areas are required to develop a community 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, which 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 can continue to identify and respond to local 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

Work on the Birchfield Big Local began after a community conference held in April 2013 at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School. Working groups were formed to look at key priorities in the area around four themes of Well Built, Well Run, Well Served and Thriving Birchfield.

The working groups developed action plans which were discussed at a second conference in September 2013 and a shared vision for the area was also created.  The plan was endorsed by Local Trust at the beginning of 2014 and covers the first two years of the ten-year programme.

Who is responsible for running the Big Local programme?
Birchfield is one of 150 Big Locals across England and one of just three in Birmingham. The programme is managed by Local Trust which is a company limited by guarantee and a charity. Local Trust looks after the Big Local Trust and runs Big Local across England with a range of national and local partners who are providing expert advice and support for residents.

Where does the money for Big Local come from?
The Big Lottery Fund is the main funder of Big Local. The Big Lottery Fund established the Big Local Trust (registered charity no: 1145916) with Local Trust and have paid over a £200m expendable endowment for Big Local.

Who decides how the funding is spent in the area?
The 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 Birchfield Big Local is Birmingham Voluntary Service Council.

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.  A list of the current partnership members for Birchfield Big Local can be found at

How can I get involved in Big Local?
There are many ways for people to get involved in Birchfield Big Local:

  1. Volunteer to join the partnership or join one of the partnership sub-groups focusing, for example, on media & communications; children & young people; and community assets

  2. 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.

  3. Contribute your ideas about how to make Birchfield a better place to live through the website and social media, participating in surveys or simply by giving us a call, arranging to meet face to face, or sending an email or letter

To find out more about getting involved please contact us on 0121 448 5594 or Mobile: 07429 838 699.

How do I join the partnership?
The process for joining the partnership is explained at

Initially we ask people interested in joining to complete an expression of interest form.

There is no set limit to the number of partnership members but for practical reasons 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?
Birmingham Voluntary Service Council(BVSC) is the local trusted organisation for Birchfield Big Local. They were chosen by the partnership from a number of possible organisations. BVSC act as the accountable body and administers the funds on behalf of Birchfield 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 Birchfield Big Local?

Contact us by:
Telephone: 0121 448 5594
Mobile: 07429 838 699

Email: General enquiries:

Community Development Worker:

Volunteer Co-Ordinator:


Post: Birchfield Big Local, 16 Grosvenor Road, Birchfield, Birmingham B20 3NP.


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