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Council opens million-pound pot for fifth time
Thursday 23rd March, 2017

Another £1.5m is up for grabs in Wigan Borough for community groups and volunteers who want to make a difference where they live.

It will be the fifth time Wigan Council opens its successful Deal for Communities Investment Fund and will bring the council’s total investment to a huge £9m.

On Monday 3rd April the fund will open to allow bids for small, innovative investments only – projects which require less than £2,000.

The funding forms part of The Deal, the informal contract between the council and residents including a commitment from both sides to work together to make the borough a better place.

The groups that were successful in the last round were celebrated at a networking evening last week and shared their stories about how the funding will make a difference to local people.

Hag Fold Community Centre, in Atherton, received £1,343 to work with local fire fighters to deliver bootcamp sessions for parents. Brian Seddon, chairman of the group, said: “It was absolutely brilliant, we couldn’t have done it without the funding. The parents love the variety, they’ve been knackered after they’ve done it. It’s a great partnership we have with local people and local services to make things happen on the estate.”

The group also received £10,000 from the investment fund to deliver activity camps over school holidays with average of 56 children a day doing a variety of activities, from football and netball to learning about healthy eating, from Dorset Road Community Centre. Brian said: “It’s been the most successful project in Hag Fold since I’ve been there.”

Leigh Ornithological Society received £1,600 to help the Pennington Flash Ranger Service preserve wildlife habitat and look after Pennington Flash nature reserve. David Shallcross from the group said: “The fund has helped me to set up a group which carries out tasks around the reserve and it’s helped us all to get fitter. It’s a health and wellbeing group as well as a conservation group. To The Deal we are very grateful.”

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at Wigan Council, said:

"So far the fund has had a massive impact on communities. It was overwhelming last week to hear from each of the groups about how the funding is making a real difference to the lives of local people.

“Every year we are inspired by the bids and by how many people want to make Wigan Borough a better place. We are delighted to be funding more projects.

“There are many authorities that are withdrawing funding from communities but we are bucking the trend and investing more into them.

“Wigan Council is determined to provide support for organisations and groups who want to help improve issues we face in the borough. It is why we launched The Deal, so we can work with the local community to achieve this.”

The small investment pot will be open from Monday 3rd April for six weeks.

To find out more about bidding for the fund visit www.wigan.gov.uk/thedeal

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