Unlocking support for families
Get ready to enter The Gateway… it’s a new Wigan Council initiative that will provide help and support to children, young people and parents right in the communities in which they live.
The aim is to link up a range of existing services from child and family welfare right through to careers to provide one easy-to-use model to support families.
Each of five areas across the borough will have a Gateway team working across children and young people aged from 0 to 19.
The teams will be made up of workers from a range of professional backgrounds, including social care and health.
The Gateway team can be contacted through Children’s Centres, schools, and other well-used local facilities.
Wigan Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Susan Loudon, said: “Our aim is to work with children, young people and parents to resolve problems and difficulties they may be facing. We want to work with local communities to ensure the service meets their needs
“The Gateway will provide support to help children and young people achieve more, by reducing the barriers to learning that some children face. We want children and young people to reach their full potential.
“The Gateway will work on issues such as attendance at school, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy. It will also help children and young people to take part in positive activities and help them have a voice in their local communities. We will provide further information as the teams are set up in local areas, and hope you will be able to see a difference.”
For updates keep visiting Wigan Council’s website.
Loan scheme backs buyers
MOVING IN: Just one family benefiting from the FirstBuy scheme.
YOUR first step on the housing ladder could be FirstBuy.
That’s the message from housing chiefs at Wigan Council who are urging first-time buyers to make the most a new government-backed equity loan scheme, called FirstBuy.
FirstBuy offers eligible buyers a 20 per cent equity loan, jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the house-builders. The buyer needs to find just the five per cent deposit upfront.
Successful developments in Wigan Borough, which could be eligible for FirstBuy support are: Barratt’s Charles Street (Tyldesley) and Pennington Park (Leigh), Dorbcrest Homes Haigh Road (Aspull), Morris Homes Worthington Park (Standish), Redrow’s St Oakwood Grange (Wigan) and Persimmon Homes Bluebell Wood (Winstanley).
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Kevin Anderson, said: “This is good news for first time buyers and good news for our borough. It is anticipated that this will be extremely popular so I would urge anyone who may be interested to find out more and sign up to the scheme.”
The FirstBuy scheme is being organised by affordable homes specialist Plumlife. You can find out more about it and other affordable homes schemes by visiting the website: Plumlife (external link) or calling 0161 447 5050.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAW: From Howe Bridge to Wigan and from Pennington to Hindley the borough was blooming this summer.
North West in Bloom judges visited the borough to see the best Wigan and its residents have to offer.
Last year Wigan picked up a lucky 13 awards from the regional competition and we’re hoping for similar success this year. And whilst the results are not officially released until late October, initial comments from the judges were very positive.
To celebrate this year’s achievements, residents from all across our borough who have been directly involved with Wigan Borough in Bloom will be invited along to the annual ‘Big Thank You’ evening at Wigan Town Hall.
And for the very first time, we are introducing a series of special awards aimed at outstanding environmental achievements made by our residents, and we want the nominations for these to come from you. The categories this year are Best School Grounds - Primary and High School; Best Local Community Project, Garden or Allotment and Best Blooming Business or Public House.
For more details on how you can nominate schemes for the awards, please visit Wigan Borough - In Bloom (external link) or email In Bloom
Chance for business to showcase talent
LOCAL companies are being urged to be a part of the biggest business event to be held in the Borough.
The Wigan Business Expo Twenty11 will take over the whole of Leigh Sports Village with stands, exhibits and keynote speakers from many of the area's top firms on 14 October.
Ninety organisations from Manchester Airport, the NGS, Yorkshire Purchasing, security experts G4S and Procure Plus will be attending, plus delegates from construction firms, banks, legal and recruitment firms.
Wigan Chamber of Commerce President Miranda Barker said: "This event presents an unmissable opportunity for our local businesses to promote their products directly to some of the biggest buyers in the North West and showcase their firms to literally hundreds of customers.”
Visitors will get access to the very best advice and local business knowledge.
Over 90 per cent of borough based businesses are run by Wigan Borough residents, so the event is vital for the local economy.
Deputy leader and economy champion Cllr David Molyneux said: "We're riding high in a time of economic crisis, with low unemployment and many business start-up successes. The council and its partners see local enterprise as vital to building on that great news.“
Andy Burnham MP will open proceedings over complimentary breakfast sandwiches from 8am.
Expo2011 sponsors Park Inn are offering a special B&B deal for 13/14 October at £57. Ring 01942 366334 and ask for your room. There's free parking on site for all attendees. For more information about the event contact Wigan Council’s Economic Regeneration Office 01942 489175 call or email: Economic Regeneration Office
Help for Torch tour is sought
Volunteers are being sought to help when the Olympic Torch tours the north west next Spring.
Beijing Olympian and British 800m champion, Wigan’s Jenny Meadows said: “This is a brilliant opportunity – and we should absolutely ensure that Wigan is represented when the flame is carried through our region. Organisers are asking for young people and community leaders working with young people to get involved and I think we should make sure Wigan is very much a part of it.”
To register an interest email Olympics
Escape to the countryside
PICTURE PERFECT: The Autumnal landscape in Dean Wood, Orrell.
WE all have those countryside spots where we love to spend time relaxing.
Whether that’s a stroll around Worthington Lakes or a picturesque walk along the canal at Haigh there’s plenty to do and explore around Wigan and Leigh.
Now a new campaign has been launched to encourage residents across Greater Manchester to enjoy the great outdoors on their doorstep.
The Manchester’s Playground campaign is part of a project to unlock the tourism potential of the region, attracting national as well as local visitors and spending and contributing to a healthy Greater Manchester rural economy.
And in Wigan and Leigh there’s plenty to look out for over the next few months with a host of events including; a history walk at Wigan Flashes Local Nature Reserve on Saturday 24th September, Winter baskets at Haigh Country Park Sunday 2 Oct, and a spooky Halloween walk at Mesnes Park on Saturday 29 October.
For more information about these type of events and to book your place visit Parks and Open Spaces (external link)
Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, explained: “The campaign challenges perceptions and looks to shine a ‘green spotlight’ on Manchester.”
The website Manchester's Countryside (external link) details ideas for family days out. From llama trekking in Oldham, swinging through the trees at ‘Go Ape’ in Bolton, riding the rapids at Burrs Country Park, Bury, or just taking it easy with a leisurely stroll, picnic or bike ride along a canal towpath, bridleway or countryside trail.
There are also new walking trails and cycle routes.
Find out more about the great countryside in and around Wigan Borough by visiting the Green Heart Regional Park website: Visit Greenheart (external link)
Power to the people
TWO-IN-A-ROW: Danny Fleming, senior fitness instructor at Profile's Health and Fitness Centre, Wigan Life Centre and WLCT's Heritage Engineer Bill Rowley.
Wigan folk are being given the chance to pit their strength against the mightiest machine in the borough.
With the strength of 2,500 horses the Trencherfield Mill’s triple expansion four cylinder engine was once the powerhouse that drove a 26ft flywheel with 54 ropes running hundreds of cotton spinning machinery across all five floors of the mill at Wigan Pier.
Now this masterpiece of engineering will take centre stage as part of Power Fest. Over a set distance, teams of three will be able to see if they can out “row” a set distance travelled by the giant fly wheel.
Power Fest is part of the Manchester Science Festival and will take place during a packed day of fun at Trencherfield Mill on Wednesday 26 October between 11am and 3pm.
Danny Fleming, senior fitness instructor at the Wigan Life Centre, is currently devising the challenge. He said: “This will not be for the faint-hearted. It’s going to be a tough sprint that will be a real test."
For information please phone 01942 828128 or check our website Wigan Heritage Service (external link). Parking is available at Wigan Investment Centre on Swan Meadow Lane, Wigan.