Community fund given extra boost

Coun Chris Ready with recipients of the CIF

Coun Chris Ready with recipients of the CIF

Wigan Council’s flagship fund to help out community groups has been extended for a fifth time with cash now up for grabs for worthy causes.

The latest offering of £1.5m will bring the total spend for the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to £9m.

From April 3 volunteers and groups will be able to apply for “small, innovative” category boosts, projects that require less than £2,000.

Coun Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at Wigan Council, said: “So far the fund has had a massive impact on communities. It has been overwhelming 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 the borough a better place.

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

The CIF was launched as a major part of the Wigan Deal; the council’s policy of coping with massive budget cuts by empowering community groups to provide services.

For example, Hag Fold Community Centre, in Atherton, received £1,343 to work with local fire fighters to deliver bootcamp sessions for parents.

Chairman Brian Seddon 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.”