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Local Trust Community Grants research

Local Trust Community Grants research

In partnership with: Local Trust

Topline timings: September 2021- April 2022


Commissioned by:

Local Trust

Local Trust appoints IVAR to explore the value of community grants to Big Local areas and what makes them successful


Big Local is about shifting power, resources and decision making into the hands of local communities to enable them to transform and improve the places in which they live. Many Big Local areas have chosen to improve local capacity and community resource through community grants schemes.

Local Trust, who runs the Big Local Programme, has appointed IVAR to carry out research to explore the value that community grants bring to Big Local areas, as well as what helps the delivery of successful grant schemes.

This action research will provide strategic learning in relation to three key questions, as well as produce practical insights for Big Local partnerships involved in community grant making. We will ask:


  1. What is the context, conditions, and considerations for successful community grants schemes?
  2. How do community grants help to develop engagement with Big Local, build local capacity and enhance the local voluntary and community sector?
  3. How do community grants help to develop and enhance community control?


To achieve this we will:


  • Involve three/four Big Local areas in an action research process, supporting them to explore and test out adaptations to their individual approaches to community grant making, as well as take part in cross-area sharing and learning
  • Produce a ‘good practice’ guide for other Big Local partnerships, on community grant-making in the context of the needs and experiences of Big Local areas.

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