- Power to Change
- Release date:
- 6 12 2013
The Big Lottery Fund today (Friday 6 December, 2013) announces Power to Change, a Trinity Mirror plc (publisher of the Daily Mirror), and National Lottery backed scheme that is set to invest £150 million in community-led enterprises across England - the largest ever community enterprise fund.
Community enterprise champions from all across England are gathering in Manchester to show the range of this community-led movement, from a fan-owned football club to a charity which brings empty homes back into use, to a mobile greengrocer delivering fresh fruit and veg to local people who have limited access to fresh food.
Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England Chair said: “The new fund will provide communities feeling the impact of tough economic times with the opportunity to make real people powered change in their local areas. It will support people to get things done and sort out problems with enterprising new solutions. It will be open to applications from next autumn.
“Power to Change enables everyone to have a stake in their local community; its future growth and to take pride in restoring and revitalising community spirit at a time of uncertainty and upheaval.”
Dan Thompson, Director of Revolutionary Arts and organiser of #riotscleanup, the Twitter movement which saw people gathering together to clean up their streets after the 2011 riots, said: "More and more communities are rallying together to find grassroots, DIY ways to tackle local problems, from the floorboards up not from the boardrooms down. They are reinventing the high street and reclaiming local spaces for local people, testing and learning what works and driving forward improvements to their local areas.
“It is great to hear that of the Big Lottery Fund's intentions to encourage many more people to make a difference."
The announcement of Power to Change has been welcomed by community enterprises already making a difference in their local area.
Giroscope, an award-winning housing charity based in Hull, buys and renovates empty and unused property, bringing it back to life as homes or workspace. The organisation, which has received Big Lottery Fund support in the past, provides training and experience for the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders and other people disadvantaged in the employment market.
Caroline Gore-Booth, Project Manager of Giroscope said: “Everyone is entitled to have somewhere they can call home and access to meaningful work. We’ve been working hard to breathe life back into empty properties in deprived areas of Hull and provide vital opportunities to help people into training and work. Since the start of this year we’ve worked with over 60 volunteers, giving them real hands-on experience in the building industry and have brought back into use 14 long-term empty properties, providing new homes where they are desperately needed. This new initiative from the Big Lottery Fund will provide vital support to communities tackling issues like housing and unemployment in their local areas.”
Another project attending today’s event is FC United of Manchester, a community owned and run football club set up in 2005. The club is not for profit, member-owned, democratically run and has received support from Sport England to build their new stadium.
Robin Pye, Community and Education Manager at FC United, said: “We are a fan-owned and run community football club striving to develop an alternative model of football club ownership. We’ve now been established for over eight years and are on the verge of building our own ground in Moston, north Manchester. The new facility will include community spaces as well as sports facilities and will demonstrate what can be achieved when like-minded and determined people pool their resources.”
Supportive quotes from stakeholders:
Steve Wyler, CEO of Locality, the leading nationwide network of development trusts, community enterprises, settlements and social action centres, said:
“Locality and our network of community groups are more determined than ever to build vibrant enterprising communities and the Big Lottery Fund’s Power to Change initiative really chimes with this. Locality’s work is rooted in local change driven by the people who live there. Many community groups we’ve supported are shining examples of community enterprise in practice - taking over empty shops for community use, building affordable housing, launching business spaces for start-ups and running diverse services. The new Power to Change initiative is a game-changer - it could help empower many people to make a real difference in a great many neighbourhoods.”
UnLtd’s chief executive Cliff Prior said: “At UnLtd we believe passionately in the power of people as social entrepreneurs in their communities. We’ve made great strides in finding, funding and supporting individuals to become ‘community entrepreneurs’ – people with the potential and creativity needed to change the places in which they live for the better. Through our Big Lottery Fund backed Star People programme, for example, we and our partners have made awards to more than 400 inspirational people to help them start or scale up a social venture to address a local social need. Community-level ventures have a vital role to play in addressing some of the tough social challenges facing our country today and we welcome the announcement of Power to Change which will boost the number and impact of people responding to local need and opportunity.”
Grants from the Big Lottery Fund will be available for community enterprises to apply for from next autumn following the establishment of a Power to Change Trust.
For anyone interested in setting up their own community enterprise, sharing best practice or finding out more, visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/powertochange (link available from Friday 6 December) for more information and resources.
You can follow news from the event @BiglfCommunity #PowerToChange. An interactive panel discussion will take place on Twitter at 12.50pm.
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Notes to editors
- The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
- The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6bn.
- The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
- Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £30 billion has now been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.