Big Local is a Big Lottery funded project supporting 150 towns and villages in becoming even better places to live. Each area has been allocated 1 million pounds to use over a 10 year period.
What makes Big Local different from other initiatives is that the power to decide what to spend the money on lies in the hands of residents, who working together decide on what the priorities are for their locality. Normally this will be managed by a local Board made up of residents, who can seek advice from other residents and also agencies and individuals who operate in their patch.
Distington is one of these 150 towns and villages and is managed by a Big Local Board consisting of 13 local residents and 1 organisation (currently the Parish Church represented by their Vicar.)
The Board do not have straightforward access to the million pounds however! They have to submit plans every so often to The Local Trust who manage the lottery funds. They in turn have to agree that the plans fit within the aims of Big Local and that sufficient residents have been consulted in some way.
Distington Big Local began implementing its first plan in December 2014. A new plan is due to be submitted by the end of 2016 which will outline the priorities for 2017.