We are pleased to report that Local Trust has approved our second plan, covering years 3 and 4 of the ten year Boston Big Local project which is investing £1m of Big Lottery money in Boston. The newly approved plan sets out details of our priorities, the expected outcomes and action plans for each theme, and details of the budget for April 2017 to March 2019.
Boston is one of 150 areas across the UK to have received an award from the Big Lottery Fund. Big Local aims to make each area even better places to live by helping residents develop their skills and confidence to identify what matters most to them, and make decisions and take action to change things for the better.
Richard Tory, Chair of our partnership group said: “In the first two years we funded and supported a wide range of great activities that have helped to bring positive changes to the area. This was made possible through the strong links forged with local delivery partners. As well as supporting big public events such as the Beach in Central Park, Boston in Bloom and helping with the launch of the Boston Marathon UK, the group is also proud to have helped smaller projects such as the Arts for Dementia support group, the Boston Community Transport scheme and Swimming Lessons for Year 6 students.”
Boston Big Local has developed a fruitful partnership with Boston Borough Council. The council has been very positive and supportive of resident priorities and bringing added value to Boston Big Local’s investment. This has included reducing smoking-related litter, environmental improvements, operating a street vacuum cleaner, environmental signage for residents and encouraging school children’s environmental responsibility and citizenship. On top of this, the Council gave its backing to other key activities like the very popular summer beach event and the Boston Marathon.
Over the last six months Boston Big Local has been consulting with local residents, groups and organisations to get their views on what should be included in the plan for the next two years. The Boston Big Local partnership group used feedback from the consultations to review and further develop the latest plan. Our continuing aim is to fund activities that meet local needs based on our four themes: improving health and wellbeing; creating a more attractive environment; building community spirit; and encouraging enterprise.
Commenting on Boston Big Local’s plan review, Local Trust said: “You provided important reflections on your learning to date and how you were able to overcome initial issues and challenges. We loved your “What’s changed” webpage and how you use it to share key information on activities with the residents, with links to relevant reports from your partners.”
Feedback from the plan assessment said: “The plan builds on the strengths of the first, including some maturing projects and good events which are wanted by the community, and that work. Boston Big Local has refreshed the partnership as well as developing good alliances and a good track record. They are trying things out and meeting challenges.
“They have adjusted existing process and adapted these to better suit the needs of their community. The partnership has learnt to deal with unforeseen issues, and have developed increased confidence in their negotiations with partners and delivery agencies. The group is now more optimistic, and flexible in its approach.”
“We are very pleased that the plan has been approved by Local Trust,” Richard Tory concluded. “We can now get on and work with our delivery partners to put the agreed activities into action for the benefit of Boston residents.”
Boston Big Local plans to spend a total of £248,000 over the next two years across all of its activities. Residents can read the full Boston Big Local Plan at bostonbiglocal.co.uk/plan-2.