December 2012: Big Local announced for the West End, Morecambe
A temporary Steering Group was set up with start-up funding and drawing together different volunteers working with the support of a Big Local Representative. A wide range of ongoing consultation and conversations at events and door knocking took place. There was some to-and-fro in developing a consensus on how the project should work and so finding a clear group direction took some time. By July 2015 the group had completed its work in drawing together a large Community Profile and Plan for delivering the Big Local in the West End area. Whilst not necessarily providing strategic direction the profile did provide a strong mandate to build on.
September 2015: West End Million Partnership Committee formed
A new community partnership was set up as West End Million and tasked with rolling out the Big Local programme in the West End. With oversight of a Big Local representative, the partnership worked to create a first-year plan. Locally based More Music was chosen to be the Local Trusted Organisation responsible for day to day assistance in delivering funding for the partnership.
March 2016: YEAR 1 ACTION PLAN – see the plan
The first year’s plan had four themes that were prioritised (1) Housing, (2) Young People, (3) Festivals and (4) Enterprise and a range of sub-groups were set up to act upon the plan. The partnership also set up a community grants fund. Overall £140,000 was allocated to be spent in the first year.
Over the year some positive work was achieved and there were many smaller successes. A great deal was learnt about the challenges of community partnership working but the desire to deliver funding and some imbalance in the way the partnership functioned meant some aims of Big Local were lost and the direction of funding shifted away from what the partnership had originally planned. Issues also arose around the lack of visible credit for West End Million funding and limited evaluation which meant many in the community were not even aware of what West End Million was doing. The partnership’s working groups (tasked with delivering the mini action plans) also declined.
West End Million funding did go to a number of projects which achieved some great activity but overall the partnership took a learning curve that was as much on how not to do things as how to do things successfully.
June 2017: YEAR 2 ACTION PLAN – see the plan
After some discussion by the partnership, a proposal was made to carry on with the current themes and carry them over into year two along with one new area of work that had been highlighted through consultations. A budget of £123,000 was applied for however the national Big Local was unclear as to the process or methodology used to explain this and the plan and majority of the funding were put on hold. Whilst two small areas of costs were approved the decision was made to fully review and discuss how West End Million might re-structure its’ work.
In October, a new Big Local Rep joined the West End programme and a fresh look was taken as to how West End Million might move positively forward. It was agreed that it was okay to make mistakes but there was a need to learn and positively change. The partnership went through some internal changes and it was agreed the Local Trusted Organisation (responsible with day to day assistance in delivering funding) would step down.
February 2018: West End Million began a full review of past activity and began developing a new plan for future work. Lancaster Community & Voluntary Solutions (LCVS) were chosen to be a new Local Trusted Organisation and by June a new plan was submitted to the national Big Local.
July 2018: YEAR 3 ACTION PLAN – see the plan