Bolton Council has relaunched its Community Empowerment Fund, to help communities help themselves.
The focus of the fund is on helping people to become active and connected, while helping people to do things for themselves so they don’t need to come to the council for support.
During the last two years the council has invested £1.3m into the fund with around half a million pounds awarded so far to 15 different groups across the borough.
Local, non-profit groups and organisations, such as voluntary groups and charities 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.
Initially 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.
The criteria has now been broadened to include bids from groups which will develop active lifestyles, age-friendly communities and empower communities to run community centres. Proposals must also be sustainable once the Council’s investment has come to an end.
Groups can apply for funding for ideas or projects such as running a local community centre, volunteering to help keep your neighbourhoods and streets clean, promoting, maintaining and using local parks and green spaces, helping old people get out and about, reducing crime and antisocial behaviour and reducing the number of children living in poverty.
Anyone interested in submitting a bid can visit www.bolton.gov.uk/cef
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We’re really excited to relaunch this fund and we want the people of Bolton to come up with some new and innovative ideas that have the right ingredients to make a real difference in our communities.
We would like to see opportunities for people to become more active and connected, while helping people to do things for themselves so they don’t need to come to the Council for support or to access services.
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.”
For further information on how to apply please visit www.bolton.gov.uk/cef
One scheme which was awarded funding of £33,000 was Castle Hill Wrestling Club, which runs wrestling sessions for five to seven year olds and eight to 16 years.
It teaches children the basics of wrestling, but also children healthy eating and nutrition. The funding has been used to find and train volunteers, deliver taster sessions in schools and set up a membership scheme for the club to become self-financing.
The club has already helped more than 220 children get fit and healthy with several going on to join the British Wrestling Association and with potential to compete at a national level. The club is also working with four schools.
Pic Caption: Coach Eddy Kavanagh teaching Alfie Shepherd and Kyle Winston about healthy eating