What is Dover Big Local?
Today Dover Big Local comprises of two parts. The original Dover Big Local Project and Dover Big Local CIC.
Dover Big Local Project
The original Dover Big Local Project is led by a committee drawn from Partners – individuals and organisations that support the aims agreed with the Lottery for delivery in Dover. It was entrusted with £1m Lottery funding to spend on central Dover over (up to) a 10 year period, which began in 2015. This funding will be used up in June 2022 due to the ambitious and effective projects that have been undertaken and grant funding to groups and projects in Dover that align with it. Following detailed research and working with residents, a plan for Dover was developed that includes work on:
• Business and Tourism
• Green Spaces
• Arts and Culture
• Health and Wellbeing
Dover Big Local has a Community Hub providing support, training, and networking opportunities, that help residents access services, develop plans to improve their area and empower them to find solutions that work to make Dover an even more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and play.
Any Dover resident, business or organisation can become a Partner and support Dover Big Local’s work.
The ‘Big Local’ National Project
Big Local nationally was launched by the Big Lottery Fund in July 2010. £200m of investment supports 150 small urban and rural communities throughout the UK so they can each come together to make their areas even better places to live. Dover was selected for funding because the town may not have been very successful in gaining funding and resources in the past. Through Big Local, managed by Local Trust, Dover will receive at least £1m Lottery funding over 10 years, along with support, training, and networking opportunities, to help residents develop plans to improve their area and empower them to find solutions that work to make Dover an even more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and play.
Dover’s Plan has worked
The Dover Big Local team worked with local people to discover their the views and ambitions about the future of the town. Focus groups met to put the ideas into a plan required by National Lottery to allow access to Dover’s £1 million funding. Dover’s plan was approved by the national Big Local organisation in 2015 and is has been put into action. Projects in the arts, green spaces and environment, sports and leisure, economy and tourism and communication have all made a differnce in Dover.
What are the Vision & the Plan?
To create Dover’s Big Local Plan a Vision document was created. It was a description of what Dover people said they like and dislike about Dover today and most importantly what we would like it to be like in the future. Although a lot of ideas have been collected to develop Dover’s Plan, we will keep asking Dover’s people what they want to see happening throughout the Dover Big Local project, as priorities will change over the ten years of the project.
The Plan was further developed from the ideas in the Vision document and includes the things we all are able to agree to build upon. However it is not “set in stone” and was constantly revised to suit Dover’s needs. Both the Vision and Plan needed to be submitted to Local Trust who have managed the Project for national Lottery nationally. Strict financial and circumstantial reporting has been required for the funding to be released bi-annually or quarterly when the actions promised in the previous period of the Plan could be shown to have been delivered.
Dover Big Local CIC
The terms of all national Big Local grant funding required each awarded area’s delivery organisation to have another organisation oversee its banking and reporting. This organisation is called its Locally Trusted Organisation (LTO). The LTO was usually an established charity or management organisation with the experience to handle a large amount of funding and the reporting needed for it to be drawn down from central funds as needed. Dover Big Local CIC was set up to take over the role of LTO when the original LTO for Dover decided to end its contract. The Community Interest Company has four directors who are responsible to the Dover Big Local Project’s committee. After Covid, funding in addition to the original lottery funding was offered by various organisations and local government to help with Covid recovery and Dover Big Local CIC began to succeed in gaining funds which have meant many new projects could be started. The National Programme has always required there to be legacy plans – ideas for what will happen when the lottery money runs out. Dover Big Local CIC will become the legacy organisation for Dover Big Local Project and is seeking grant funding to continue to run directly delivered projects from the hub and in the community. There are future plans to set up a Charitable company known as a CIO, as this will allow access to Charity-only funding. Once this is set up the CIC will return to administrative purposes only.
Big Local Needs YOU!
Dover Big Local brings exciting new projects and improvement to existing initiatives to Dover. It’s YOUR town so now is the time to get involved! Whether you want to join the partnership, have an idea for a project for Dover Big Local, help out in our hub or at our events, or just want to keep up to date with how Dover Big Local is progressing, we need you. From highlighting local issues to offering a few hours help everyone’s contribution is important.