Bolton Council has agreed funding of £114,787 to a further four projects as part of its Community Empowerment Fund.
The £500,000 Community Empowerment Fund was launched in November 2014, to reduce demand on council services and to enable local volunteers, community groups and businesses to become more involved in improving their local area.
Groups and organisations were invited to bid for a share of the fund and could benefit from either a one-off investment of up to £2,000 to try out an idea, or a larger investment of up to £40,000 over two years in order to develop an innovative scheme further. Projects which applied for the funding had to demonstrate how they will address council priorities and reduce demand for council services, either by making improvements to the environment or meeting the needs of young people, and how they would continue with their proposal after the Council’s funding ends.
A total of ten local community and voluntary groups have now been awarded funding from the Community Empowerment Fund so far and the total amount awarded currently stands at £270,387.
One scheme which has been awarded funding of £33,000 is Castle Hill Wrestling Club. The club has been awarded the money to set up a wrestling club for children from the ages of 5 upwards. The club, which will be called Future Heroes will teach children the basics of wrestling, but will also teach children about healthy eating and nutrition. The funding will help the club to find and train volunteers, with the aim of becoming financially sustainable in the future.
Another scheme to receive funding is Kearsley Youth Brass Band, which has been awarded £20,000 to provide a programme of musical activities designed to help children, young people and their families, to raise their aspirations and gain new skills and confidence.
The band currently has three music groups – Kearsley Training Band, Brass Unlimited, for retired people, and Kearsley Community Choir – delivered by Bolton Music Service. The funding will allow the band, a registered charity, to commission the Music Service to continue running the groups as well as developing other ensembles, such as a ukelele group youth choir, string ensemble or drumming group, that will generate income in the future.
A third project to receive funding is the Gateway Community Support Group, which has been given £40,000 to provide a programme of after school and weekend learning support sessions; English and numeracy classes; youth sport activities; interpretation and translation services and a conversation café for refugees and asylum seekers in Bolton.
The funding will help to improve the attainment of children and young people, as well as improving employability and the numeracy and literacy skills of adults.
Finally, the council has also awarded £21,787 to Johnson Fold Community Action Group for a range of training and development opportunities that introduces a new and different style of youth work, delivering new activities in various locations in and around Johnson Fold estate.
The funding will be used to target young people and their families aged 10 to 25, especially those with special needs and chaotic lifestyles.
The three main themes to the activities are environmental / behaviour change projects, work placements and training , including training the trainer, volunteer youth work, sports coaching and construction skills.
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We are really pleased to announce this funding for a further four sets of projects across the borough. All of these groups have come up with ideas that will reduce demand on council services, but also will address existing and emerging issues across the borough, by providing new services for young people or making improvements to the environment.
However, we would love to award more funding, especially to small voluntary and community groups to improve their area. We’d love to hear from any groups who have ideas which reduce demand for our services and will make a real difference to local communities in Bolton now and in the long-term.”
Further information on how to apply please visit www.bolton.gov.uk/cef