Whitley has been given £1 million worth of Big Local funding after a successful bid was made by a group of councillors and charity representatives to The Big Lottery Fund. Nationally, the Big Local is working with over £200 million from the Big Lottery Fund and a range of partners to help improve local communities and is run by the Local Trust.
Since receiving the money, 2 different projects have been completed: Transport in Whitley and Financial Exclusion; with a youth and aspirations project to be completed by the end of 2017.
The projects are being carried out through the Whitley Researchers partnership that consists of local residents; staff and students from the University of Reading and John Ord, the Big Local Representative assisting Whitley’s research. This team is in place to ensure that the research is informative and valuable as well as making sure that the £1million is spent appropriately and effectively as well as allowing the community to share their views on what they believe the money should be spent on.
The next steps for the team are to collect additional data surrounding youth and future aspirations though working with both the schools and wider local community .Once the data has been collected and examined, the team plan to hold local events to discuss findings with the community so that priority areas for investment can be identified and a report can be developed. The Whitley Researchers are also looking to expand their team and recruit new members, so please contact the group, via their social media links or by contacting one of the team directly, if interested.
The team want the Whitley community to have their say and this can be through organising or taking part in a focus group, filling out a questionnaire, or even just contacting the team through their website at www.whitleybiglocal.co.uk. You can also track the latest updates across their social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.