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UCLan environmental social scientist appointed to Local Trust board

31 January 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Dr John Whitton will offer expertise to Big Local initiative

An environmental social scientist from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been appointed as a new trustee to the board of Local Trust.

Dr John Whitton, Manager of the UCLan Centre for Energy and Power Management and lead for Energy and Society research at the University, is one of five new appointees to the board of Local Trust which has the responsibility of delivering the £200m Big Local initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund. 

Big Local is a long term innovative programme that enables and supports residents to achieve lasting change in 150 small communities throughout England over 10 years. 

Dr Whitton’s expertise in environmental and social sustainability, alongside his experience in working with local communities, will prove invaluable in the role.

“I’m excited and feel privileged to be part of Big Local and the Local Trust as a Trustee. The challenges that face some of the Big Local communities currently will be addressed specifically by the funding provided over the next 10 years."

Dr Whitton, who is also a founding board member of a Big Local community partnership in mid Cheshire called Rudheath and Whitton Together, commented: “I’m excited and feel privileged to be part of Big Local and the Local Trust as a Trustee. The challenges that face some of the Big Local communities currently will be addressed specifically by the funding provided over the next 10 years.

“How these communities then become socially sustainable and more resilient to change is of personal and research interest to me. I’m looking forward to my board duties and also visiting and talking to some of the 150 communities across England funded by Big Local.”

Inner East Preston, covering Fishwick and St Matthew’s wards, was announced as a Big Local area in December last year and will receive £100,000 a year for the next ten years.

"Kathryn, Peter, Penny, Jonathan and John bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge that will benefit our work considerably as we support Big Local areas to be resilient, confident and good places to live.”

The project is resident led and local people are currently in the process of coming together to explore how the area can be changed for the better by considering what they like about the area, how this can be improved and what needs to change. Examples of other Big Local projects include building new community centres and volunteer schemes.

Other new members appointed to the board of Local Trust include ex-Merseyside Police Federation chair Kathryn Kane, design and communications consultant Peter Mills, finance and sustainable development expert Penny Shepherd and finance specialist Jonathan Taylor.

Michael Hamilton, chair of Local Trust, welcomed the new trustees. He said: “We are thrilled with these new appointments. Kathryn, Peter, Penny, Jonathan and John bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge that will benefit our work considerably as we support Big Local areas to be resilient, confident and good places to live.”

To find out full details about all Local Trust trustees visit the Local Trust website.