COMMUNITY groups across the borough have been given a £350,000 boost in the latest round of a scheme to support them with their work.

The fifth round of Wigan Council's Deal for Communities Investment Fund has seen 76 groups being given monetary amounts of between £200 and £10,000 in three categories- 'start-ups', 'small investments' and 'getting going'.

Groups that have benefited from the latest stage of funding include Christ Church Pennington, to increase it's youth activities (£10,000), and Strike a Chord CIC to host a festival in Lilford Park (£8,800).

True Colours CIC, based in Leigh, was also given £4,000 to deliver the borough's first specific autism-friendly festival and £2,000 was handed over to Atherton Salvation Army to host youth activities.

Bevan Thompson, from Strike a Chord CIC, said: "“We are delighted to receive funding.

"With the money we intend to bring a live music event, artisan stalls and a family day out for the people of Leigh to enjoy.

"We are hoping to build on the success of our inaugural festival last year with a bigger and better event after listening to feedback from the community.

"The festival is planned to highlight the wider aims of the CIC of bringing music to the people, and with the long term goal of creating a music hub in Leigh for local bands, young people and disadvantaged people to get into music- who normally may not have been able to.”

After this latest round of funding, £9 million will have been given to more than 450 groups in the scheme.

Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at the council, said: “Unlike so many other places we are bucking the trend and investing money into our communities.

"We have already seen it have a huge impact on residents and we are seeing real results.

"Our innovative way of working is being mirrored in other areas which we are very proud of.

“We face many different social issues and we know local people are best placed with the knowledge and connections to help us to address and tackle these problems.

"We have been giving the control to our residents and we are seeing it work and have real impact.

“We are delighted to be able to keep supporting so many of our fantastic groups and small organisations.”

Applications for the fund's 'big idea'- which invited community groups to submit their ideas to inspire people in the community to get active- will be announced next year

For more information about the scheme visit