Who we are
Whitley Bay Big Local is a Community Interest Organisation (CIO), which was established as 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 community to identify issues of local concern, propose solutions and resource those ideas.
In 2017, the community decided to create an incorporated structure to provide the basis for a sustainable future, attract additional grant funding and independently agree and sign contracts. Whilst the overall work of the CIO is now broader than the initial Big Local agreement, we continue to receive core funding towards the achievement of national programme outcomes:
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 Whitley Bay Big Local area was granted Big Local Lottery funding because it was seen as a “pocket of deprivation within an affluent area”. Areas like ours missed out on funding in the past and the Whitley Bay Big Local Partnership Board are committed to making the best possible use of this funding to benefit our whole community.
Over the last couple of years our work has been reshaped to focus on 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 Community Building and reaching out to all parts of our community
Creativity – supporting and delivering a carnival, workshops and activities to engage local people in creative activities
Previous themes also focused on developing partnerships & communication and building infrastructure to deliver the Whitley Bay Big Local plan. This enabled Whitley Bay Big Local to raise awareness about Big Local, inform local people about projects via a newsletter, web pages and social media, grow relationships with key partners and ensure that funding was allocated and used meet the Big Local outcomes.
Whitley Bay Big Local continues to engage with community members and partners to enable people to work together to unlock resources and strengthen our collective belief and pride in Whitley Bay.
In March 2017 WBBL became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity No: 1171848) which enabled us to take a commercial lease and open an accessible and welcoming space for a wide range of community events. More information about WBBL's trustees, finances etc can be found on the Charity Commissions website.
Our community building at 158 Whitley Road in Whitley Bay 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.