In 2012 £1 million of Lottery money was awarded to the Rudheath and Witton area as part of a national programme called Big Local, run by Local Trust.
Their idea was that as local people are the experts on their own neighbourhood then they should have a say in how money is spent there. Local Trust believe that residents should be able to make decisions about things which affect them, to come up with the most effective solutions to local problems and take action when things need to change. Overall the aim is for local people to invest the money to make Rudheath and Witton an even better place to live, now and in the future.
There are few conditions on how the £1 million can be spent, but it’s vital that it benefits people in our area - this is what the area looks like on a map.
Starting in 2013 we have ten years to spend the money, and this has to be overseen by a Partnership of local people - residents but also staff from organisations representing residents such as the Council or local Landlord. This Partnership needs to make sure the community is getting the very best deal for their money, and that everyone in the area has an opportunity to benefit from it.
Our Partnership is called Rudheath and Witton Together – or RWT – you can find out more about us here. We meet up every two months or so to make sure the programme is on track. We are ALWAYS looking for new members and would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in joining us! Please do get in touch if you’d like more information.
RWT has been up and running for four years now, and has already overseen the investment of over £200,000, with money given out as grants to local groups and projects. We have only granted funding to things that members of the community have told us are their priorities.
In 2015 looked back at what we’d achieved, and talked to a lot of our residents and partners about how they felt we were doing. Based on all this we made some decisions about what we needed to do differently in the future, and what our priorities should be for 20016-18.
We agreed that we needed to better connect with local residents – we haven’t been doing enough to make sure people know about RWT and what it can do for them. A lot of the projects we have paid for in the past we’re really successful and provided lots of benefit to people, but were limited in their target audience and so not relevant to everyone.
We also agreed we should support lots more community events and activities, and make sure people know how to get involved in these – or even run them themselves. We plan to have someone ‘on the ground’ who can act as the face of RWT, and this should mean more people know about us and how they can benefit from our funding.
For more information on what we’re doing and how you can take part have a look at What Are We Doing?