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Published: Wednesday, 30th August 2023

Hundreds of community projects and local improvement schemes could be given the green light over the coming months with the launch of a new Local Improvement Fund.

With £500,000 available, Oldham Council is urging residents to get in touch with their local Councillor with suggestions of where the money will be best spent within their community.

Councillors can submit requests for improvement works that vary in size and scope, so no idea is too small or too grand. Where projects are expected to cost over £30,000 they should demonstrate what impact they will have for residents and how far reaching they will be.

Fast Grants will support bids for smaller improvement works that range between £500 to £3,500 and strengthen the top three priorities of the Residents First approach. These are the areas residents have said matter the most to them and the community:

  • Don’t Trash Oldham campaign
  • Transforming and improving Oldham’s neighbourhoods
  • Boosting Oldham’s economy by creating jobs, supporting businesses, and attracting investment

 

Examples of community projects the Local Improvement Fund has backed in the last 12 months include, investing £30,000 in Waterhead's Fruit Trail to create a more inviting space for children and families, investing over £37,000 in the refurbishment of Shaw Skate Park, and providing £3,500 for Wildbrook Food and Growing Hub, improving local access to affordably healthy food.

Speaking about the new round of funding, Cllr Abdul Jabbar, said: “Once again we have a fantastic opportunity to bring to life numerous improvement projects that will create value within our local communities and deliver additional, long-standing benefits for hundreds of residents across the borough.

“We know from the local improvements that were brought to life last year, that there’s a wealth of opportunity, ranging from improving local parks to larger village restoration projects, so we’re open to welcoming as many ideas as possible to help spread the spend and benefit as many people as possible.”

Residents don’t have long to submit their ideas, with the first round of Fast Track applications closing on 29 September. Deadline for larger project submissions will follow on 20 October and 8 December, respectively. Decisions on which projects get the green light under this round of funding will be announced from mid-January 2024 onwards.

The Local Improvement Fund (LIF) was established by Oldham Council in 2019 to provide funding for projects across the borough that aim to improve Oldham's neighbourhoods, districts and local communities for the benefit of residents. Of the £500,000 available, £400,000 will be capital and £100,000 will be revenue costs.

Residents can contact their local Councillor by searching online or by phoning the Oldham Council helpline – 0161 770 7007.

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