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Welcome to Borough Life Plus

Spring is upon us, the days are getting longer and with lockdown restrictions easing, there’s lots to look forward to.

Our latest edition of Borough Life aims to capture that sense of optimism while also recognising everything that has happened to us over the last 12 months.

We hope you enjoy our behind-the-scenes look at the borough’s emerging musical revolution and a round-up of the amazing community spirit that has defined our pandemic response.

Once again, here on the Borough Life Plus page, we’ve picked out some extra content that supplements what’s in the actual magazine. 

So sit back, relax and have a scroll down and we’ll see you back here again later in the year for our summer edition. I think we can all agree that we deserve a good summer this year!

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On the cover

Making the cover for Borough Life

It’s the first thing you spot when Borough Life appears through your letterbox so we like to put a lot of thought about the design.

For this edition, we have taken inspiration from some of the local and national heroes and the events of the last 12 months.

And its theme and colour scheme represent springtime and new beginnings.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us, but what has kept us going throughout is our strong sense of hope, kindness, love and peace – messages we’ve incorporated in the display.

You will be able to spot images of the ‘We Love NHS and Key Workers’ floral installation at the Cherry Gardens opposite Wigan infirmary and of Kate Fussell, Wigan’s first female surgeon who was awarded a star on the Wigan walk of fame last March during International Women’s Day – just weeks before lockdown.

There is also a well-deserved place for Captain Sir Tom Moore, who captured the hearts of the nation as he pledged to walk one hundred lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS.

There’s also a nod back to last year spring edition and the 75th anniversary of VE Day special, which included the ‘One Day Nearer’ feature about Alice and Abel. They can be spotted in the love bird photo frame.

Read Alice and Abel’s remarkable story.

The design also includes gifts and products from local suppliers who are all part of our Shop Local campaign with details in our online gift guide.

Vaccination

A jab well done

Thousands across the borough have received a Covid-19 vaccination and the rollout over the last few months has been a real team effort.

In the latest magazine we include a feature about what life has been like at one of the borough’s vaccination centres.

If you haven’t had an appointment yet, our colleagues at the CCG have produced these handy videos to let you know what to expect.

Watch video from vaccination clinic at Robin Park Leisure Centre

Watch video from vaccination clinic at Leigh Leisure Centre

Also, see a set of frequently asked questions from Healthier Wigan website (external link).

Music-scene

Fuelling the borough’s cultural fire

There’s an in-depth look into the emerging music scene linked to the Fire Within cultural manifesto in this edition.

It includes an interview with The Lathums, who are making a name for themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting bands.

Each of the acts with strong links to The Fire Within – The Lathums, LYNCHS, Lottery Winners, Flechettes, Joe Astley and The Stanleys – are creating remarkable tunes and they all deserve a slot on your playlist.

But we’re also well aware that this new wave is only the latest to make their mark from Wigan Borough.

We’re blessed to have a rich musical history, spanning decades and genres and the following videos give some shining examples.

TMP College

Once Upon a Time in Wigan

Jazz Festival

For more content about Wigan Borough’s musical past and present, visit: This Is Wigan YouTube channel (external link).

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A year like no other

How do you sum up what we’ve all been through over the past year?

We’ve done our level best to highlight some of the extraordinary efforts that this borough has produced in response to Covid-19.

In the magazine, we have used the designs by 17-year-old artist Ella, who is a member of the BYOU youth group.

Her striking artwork – which you can see here - expresses how we both miss but also fear contact of other during lockdown.

It’s a powerful depiction of what life has been like.

To mark a year since the borough went into lockdown, we’ve also produced a video that represents the phenomenal teamwork that we’ve seen across the borough.

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Youth inspiration


A film club, cookery classes and a photography course are just some of the exciting projects the borough’s young people have to look forward to this year.

It’s all thanks to the council’s Youth Inspiration Fund that encouraged youth groups to come forward with exciting ideas.

Aimed at boosting mental health and wellbeing, learning new skills and raising awareness of important social issues, hundreds of young people will benefit from the winning bids.

The Wigan and Leigh Youth Cabinet had the responsibility to choose which bids would receive a slice of the £5k funding.

Here are the worthy recipients:

  • Hindley Juniors Engagement Group – for a team-building day at Haigh Woodland Park
  • CIC Lads Group at Wigan Youth Zone – to help launch a photography course
  • BYOU Youth Group – to help arrange a mini-festival with a focus on mindfulness
  • The Levi Show (external link) – for new production equipment
  • Bickershaw Brownies – to fund activities and help with online meetings
  • Atherton Youth Voice – to help members create a mural on the topic of climate change
  • Willow Project – to help launch a cookery and healthy eating course
  • Leigh Film Society – for a new film club catering for young people
  • Bickershaw Community Club – to help with a series of dance classes for members
  • Astley and Tyldesley Cycling Club – for equipment to help members develop their skills
  • Leigh Youth and Community Development Trust – for equipment and arts and craft materials to help members

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© Wigan Council