Luton Council, the University of Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, and The Young Foundation have been awarded almost £1.9m by the National Lottery Community Fund to build on our recent work in the Luton area, turbocharging local commitment to creating ‘a town built on fairness’.  

As the town falls into the top 30% most in need communities for deprivation and cost-of-living vulnerability, this work seeks to collaboratively to help overcome social, economic, and environmental challenges.  

This project supports:

  • three further years of the Fairness Taskforce, including support to tackle challenges arising along the way 
  • a community leadership programme to develop the next generation of community and civic leaders 
  • pilots of community assemblies and forums, enabling co-ownership of system change between councillors and citizens. 
  • an in-depth learning exercise to understand how systems can be influenced and changed 

Helen Goulder OBE, Chief Executive of The Young Foundation, said:  

“I am immensely proud to continue our work with Luton’s amazing community leaders, who are so passionately committed to the future of Luton. This commitment is matched by The Young Foundation, and I’m excited to see the positive changes this collaboration delivers. The Fairness Task Force specifically tackles issues facing local people in Luton, informed by their lived experiences, and mobilises the whole system to create change together, offering huge potential to share learnings and findings more widely across the UK.” 

Nine groups have been awarded a portion of a £12m National Lottery Community Fund pot to support communities. The announcement accompanies the launch of the latest Community Research Index report, which surveys more than 8,000 UK adults and explores people’s priorities and aspirations for their local community. It finds: 

  • Seven in ten (72%) say it’s important to them to feel part of their local community 
  • People who feel part of their community cite benefits including having an opportunity to meet people (45%), improving their wellbeing (43%), having a greater sense of pride (40%), and having a positive impact on their local area (36%) 
  • Half (51%) say having activities that bring people together is in their top five local community priorities 
  • Nearly two-thirds are willing to work with others to improve their local community (64%), and think that people in their area can make a real change by getting involved (63%) 
  • But only around half feel they have the opportunity (52%) or ability to play a role (46%). 

Highlighting the importance of this work, National Lottery Community Fund Chief Executive, David Knott, said: “Feeling part of a community is a powerful thing. Now, thanks to National Lottery players and our UK Fund, people will have even more opportunities to connect with others, enjoy the benefits of being part of a community and create transformational change”. 

Community leadership Community needs & priorities Innovation and Investment Local economies Posted on: 30 April 2024


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