A NEW events fund has opened in the borough and is inviting bids from community groups who want to celebrate their area.

Wigan Council has launched the fund as part of the Our Town campaign which aims to celebrate our diverse mix of towns and the people who make them great.

The Our Town events fund opened today, Monday, for applications from all new and existing community and voluntary groups.

The council is asking for bids for celebratory events which will increase civic pride and promote social inclusion while supporting the high street.

Wigan Council leader Cllr David Molyneux said: “The Our Town events fund is all about bringing people together and encouraging people to come into our town centres.

“During the Big Listening Project people told us they wanted more local events in their communities.

“This pot of money will allow groups to host new events across the borough, increasing community spirit and celebrating each town’s diverse history and heritage.”

The events funding is available primarily to support small scale celebratory events.

Groups must be able to demonstrate how the event will make a positive contribution to the community.

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 30.

READ > Readers react to installation of pedestrian islands on road plagued by crashes

Lead member for district centres and night-time economy at the council, Cllr Yvonne Klieve said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all our communities to bid for funding to put on events.

"Everyone can take this opportunity to bring their communities together and bring the feel good factor back to our neighbourhoods.”

Other aspects of the Our Town campaign include projects to promote the borough’s heritage and to celebrate the people who dedicate their time to their community.

If there’s someone who goes the extra mile to boost community spirit, residents can nominate them for a local hero award.

Also in the pipeline for 2020 are short-story, poetry and photography competitions encouraging residents to share what they love about where they live.

It was also revealed last month that each district centre would receive a share of £600,000 for a package of "cleaner, greener" environmental works.

This will include new bins, repainting and replacing street signs and benches, new or improved street lighting and new road markings.

Each area will also get a deep clean, new trees and new flower planters.

For details of how to apply for the events fund and for more information about Our Town visit wigan.gov.uk/ourtown.