Case Study: Strategy & Impact
Big Locals Together
Big Locals Together (BLT) are a network of residents groups and other partnerships that make up the Big Local partnerships across the country.
The Big Local programme is administered by Local Trust which also provides training, networking, research and support to residents in 150 areas around England, comprising of approx. 2.5million people, to create lasting change in their communities. At least £1m has been allocated to each area to spend over 10-15 years on their own plans and priorities. All Big Local partnerships have a majority of residents, and many have made some great improvements to their areas.
The purpose of this work was for BLT to get support to explore the challenge of achieving long term sustainability and investigate the potential market for its services. always possible proposed a project over six months to develop a robust and viable business plan to take the organisation past 2026, after the point at which funding for the Big Locals programme ends.
BLT’s aim, at a basic level, is to provide a long-term mutual support network. However, the longer-term aspiration is to do much more by building on, and sharing, the skills, capacity and confidence gained through the BL programme. BLT has in principle over a million residents involved in its network, with the potential to create real long lasting societal change.
As many partnerships are now regeneration forces in their areas, BLT wants to build on these strengths and provide on-going services and support to other neighbourhood organisations.
The organisation is entirely volunteer led and needed to find the sweet spot between professionalising its governance, while retaining its grassroots, autonomous mission and values. The passionate and driven secretariat needed support and a clear path to set up an appropriate legal entity to take BLT forward.
BLT was facing a critical point in its development. The network partnerships faced the decision of whether to wind up their activity as the funding came to an end or continue in some other form.
BLT needed to find a position for itself so it could contribute effectively alongside other civil society infrastructure organisations: having a strategy for how to compete and where to collaborate.
6 month, three phase impact project:
- Phase 1: understanding BLTs value and proposition
- Phase 2: competitor and collaborator research leading to developing a fundable proposition
- Phase 3: creating a business plan
- Facilitated a Theory of Change for BLT
- Research into comparable business models
- Research into financial models that would take BLT from “start up” to 5+ growth
- Workshop led business plan created for the new governing group to take forward and adapt and use
BLT have a business plan that has “become their bible”
BLT have used the business plan to secure trust and foundation funding to employ their first member of staff in 2023
Business plan delivered ahead of schedule to meet fundraising requirements of the client
“It’s the best, best business plan I’ve been involved with.”
“It’s become our Bible….If we’re not sure, let’s refer back to the business plan. Cause everything is set out in logical steps and in concrete.”
“always possible brought in smack bang on schedule with everything that we wanted in that document.”