THE latest round for a scheme which has helped more than 450 community groups is open.

Wigan Council's The Deal for Communities Investment Fund is accepting applications with the scheme's total amount expected to exceed £10m.

It is open to start up, cultural education, big ideas and small investments.

The scheme picked up the Community Engagement Project of the Year award earlier this year at the Public Finance Innovation Awards, which rewards people, products and services that demonstrate excellence and originality within public finance.

Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at the council, said: "It is such a rewarding part of my role to hear about all the amazing work happening 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“Unlike many other authorities who have withdrawn funding we recognise the importance of investing in our communities and the transformative role they can play in improving people’s life chances.”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.”

A series of pre-application support workshops to help groups who are thinking of applying and the deadline for small investments is midnight on November 11.

The cut-off for all other applications is midnight on December 2.

To find out more about bidding for the scheme and workshops visit