The place based-funder and charitable organisation, Local Trust, has recently moved into CAN Mezzanine, Borough. CAN spoke to them to find out more about its first and major programme, Big Local.
“Local Trust was established five years ago to deliver Big Local, a unique community-led initiative that gives residents the power to make long-term changes to their neighbourhood in whatever way is most suitable for them and with almost no strings attached.
“Through the Big Local programme, £1 million is awarded to each of 150 communities, many of which face social and economic challenges but have missed out on funding in the past. We provide long term funding and support, working at the pace of the local community, and in doing so release the potential of thousands of incredible people in neighbourhoods across the country."
“We were set up with an endowment of £220m from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver on the Big Local project by 2027. We also run the ‘Empowered Communities in the 2020s’ project which received separate funding from the Community Development Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
“The 150 Big Local areas are entering the main delivery phase of the programme, which means in the coming months we anticipate lots of exciting stories about how they are starting to make changes in their community.
“We are looking for partners who can help 150 Big Local areas deliver their plans. We’re expecting a big increase in activity and would like to build partnerships with organisations who can play a part in helping communities make their vision a reality.
“Local Trust is all about people making lasting change in their community and in their own way through a radical transfer of power and resources.”
Why did Local Trust decide to move to CAN?
“The main reason is that Matt Leach, our Chief Executive, used to work with Housing Associations' Charitable Trust, based at CAN Mezzanine, Old Street, and liked it so much he moved us all here!”
CAN also house organisations with flexible lease arrangements on a temporary or short-term basis. Several occupants have enclosed or partitioned office space or prefer to use our virtual office or hot desking solutions.
“CAN were extremely flexible with us, and happy to help us make the space our own – which made the move much easier.”
“We have a nice desk space – although we do all occasionally struggle with our clear desk policy!”
As one of the core CAN values, organisations are encouraged to network and collaborate, share skills and sector knowledge.
“We are currently working with Shared Assets (social enterprise on the CAN³ programme), and are open to having a conversation with anyone that could help the Big Local areas achieve their aims.”