Community fund hits £10m fundraising figure

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Past recipients of The Deal for Communities Investment Fund at a cleebration event earlier this year with the Leader of Wigan Council Councillor David Molyneux and Wigan Council chief executive Donna Hall

The Deal for Communities Investment Fund is open once again ready to make a difference to projects across Wigan Borough and will this time reach the £10m mark.

So far more than 450 schemes have been supported to offer support to a wide range of groups tackling everything from sports, gardening and support to foster happy healthy communities.

This time round six is open to start up, cultural education, big ideas and small investments which can help towards transforming lives.

The money 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.

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We will hit £10 million in funding with this latest round of The Deal for Communities Investment Fund which is a fantastic achievement. This fund has been a defining project since its first inception and has gone on to make a huge difference to communities.

“It is one of the key parts of The Deal and shows we are committed to helping residents invest in the things that matter to them while also tackling the impact of austerity in our borough. The enthusiasm from groups and organisations means that this money has gone a long way to making life better for so many people.”

Previously successful groups have shared their stories about how the funding will make a difference to local people.

Hop, Skip and Jump offers families a fun place for children with disabilities with a play centre and sensory rooms while offering parents and carers a place to catch up together and respite care.

They have been open since 2015 and have received funding towards offering sessions for families at a reduced rate from the Deal for Communities Investment Fund.

Anthony, aged 14, who attends Hop, Skip and Jump said: “As soon as I walked through the doors of Hop, Skip and Jump, I felt like I’d really been here. And now I’m going to stay here for the rest of my life.”

The Deal for Communities Investment Fund also scooped the Community Engagement Project of the Year award earlier this year at the Public Finance Innovation Awards, which recognises people, products and services that demonstrate excellence and originality within public finance.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities, said: “There are fantastic community projects like Hop, Skip and Jump who are making a difference to families thanks to the Deal for Communities Investment Fund.

“It is such a rewarding part of my role to hear about all the amazing work happening across the borough and the pride that people take in making it a happier place for others.

“Unlike many other authorities who have withdrawn funding we recognise the importance of investing in our communities and the transformative role they can play in improving people’s life chances.”

“This is why we launched The Deal and we are looking forward to seeing how our continuing investment will blossom.”

There will be a series of pre-application support workshops to help anyone thinking of applying and the deadline for small investments is midnight on 11th November while all other applications is midnight on 2nd December.

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