Whitley Bay Big Local is a Big Lottery funded, community-led initiative to enable all who live or work in the Big Local area to get together to improve the community and make the town a place to be proud of.
Whitley Bay Big Local (WBBL) is one of 150 community–led groups throughout England and Wales who have been granted £1 million to be spent over 10 years. The grant is overseen by a national body called Local Trust and used to support people living in a targeted geographical community to identify issues of concern, propose solutions and resource those ideas.
The overall national programme ‘outcomes’ that we are working towards are:
Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them
People will have increased skills and confidence, so that they continue to identify and respond to needs in the future
The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises
People will feel that their area is an even better place to live
The WBBL area has been granted Big Local Lottery funding because it is a “pocket of deprivation within an affluent area”. Areas like ours missed out on funding in the past and the WBBL Partnership Board are committed to making the best possible use of this funding to benefit our whole community.
Consultation with our community highlighted key strengths such as our beautiful coastline, fantastic schools and our friendly, inclusive and creative community. In January 2013, a group of local volunteers in Whitley Bay took on the challenge of using the Big Local funding to improve our community and our area. Big Local as a project arrived at a key moment in our town’s history with a unique opportunity to make a real difference.
Our work focuses on three key 'themes':
- Environment - helping to improve how Whitley Bay looks for residents and visitors
- People and Wellbeing - supporting members of our community that need it and improving people's day-to-day lives
- Premises and Engagement - managing activities at the Shop and reaching out to all parts of our community
Each Big Local Partnership works with the support of a Locally Trusted Organisation (LTO) who provide administrative support and manage the finances. In Whitley Bay our LTO is New Prospects Association (NP). NP is a not for profit company and established provider of support services for people with learning disabilities.
In March 2017 WBBL became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity No: 1171848) which enabled it to take a commercial lease and open an accessible and welcoming space for a wide range of community events. The Big Local Shop is becoming an established venue for informal and more structured uses with a diverse programme of free and low cost activities.
WBBL will continue to engage with a wide range of community members and partners to enable people to work together to unlock resources and strengthen our collective belief and pride in Whitley Bay. We will work to change the way we do things so that we can become an even more positive, inclusive, supportive, creative, vibrant, beautiful, fun and happy community.
For a flavour of some of the activities WBBL has been involved in to date please visit the
Our Bigger Story web page which highlights some aspects of our work.