Wigan groups can bid for funding to take back control of cultural buildings

Community groups can follow in the footsteps of a Wigan borough organisation by bidding for funding to take control of pubs, music venues, sports facilities and historic buildings for the benefit of the public.
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Groups in the North West will be able to bid for a share of the Government’s £150m community ownership fund to rescue cultural buildings in their area that could otherwise be lost forever, as the second round of funding is open.

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The first round of grants helped 39 projects across the UK, including five in the North West.

Leigh Spinners Mill received £250,000 in the first round of fundingLeigh Spinners Mill received £250,000 in the first round of funding
Leigh Spinners Mill received £250,000 in the first round of funding
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That included £250,000 to help restore the historic Spinners Mill in Leigh, a grade II*-listed building which was transformed into a community hub and could soon house a cinema too.

Changes to the fund announced at the end of May will ensure it is more inclusive and flexible, so that more communities can benefit.

Neil O’Brien, minister for levelling up, the union and constitution, said: “Our community ownership fund is helping communities across the north-west of England to level up and we want to encourage more local people to bid to save the local assets they love.

“From redeveloping a community boxing gym in Oldham to saving Bury FC’s historic Gigg Lane, we are supporting towns, boosting local pride and helping communities thrive.”

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The fund has been updated to widen eligibility criteria, including removing the requirement that assets have had a use within the last five years, and will now consider any asset which has had a previous community use.