Community fund given extra boost

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.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:53 am
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 11:49 am
Coun Chris Ready with recipients of the CIF
Coun Chris Ready with recipients of the CIF

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.

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“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.”