Atherton Fund

Round 3 of the Atherton Fund is now OPEN

Applications will be accepted from 9am on Monday 8th July 2024 until 11:59pm on Sunday 8th September 2024.

About the fund

Are you a community group, voluntary organisation, or not for profit community business working within the Atherton area, who could benefit from an injection of funding to deliver on a local priority or issue?

If so, we want to hear from you. Wigan Council are proud to announce the next phase of the Atherton Community Fund. We want to continue to support groups to grow and thrive following funding released in 2022.

The Council has made a commitment to invest further in the Atherton area, and the capital receipt from the sale of the old Atherton Library has been ring-fenced to provide a local investment fund.

This dedicated fund will aim to improve the lives of residents, addressing local priorities and improving the spaces that matter most. It is important the projects that are successful in receiving funding demonstrate the lasting legacy for the area this will have. 

We want to invest locally in the things that mean the most to you, whether that is revenue funding to run activities and support to keep local people fit and well, providing activities to tackle loneliness or isolation, support young people to thrive and much more, or investing in local spaces or assets to improve how they look, make them feel safer or extend what they can be used for.

Whatever your idea, we want to inspire and motivate residents to be healthy, engaged and active; and enable people to start active, stay active and be stronger for longer.

What is the process?

Once the application window has closed a decision making panel will be held where the projects with the greatest impact, reach, and innovation, with a lasting legacy will be selected for investment from the fund.

The fund will accept applications from organisations based in Wigan Borough but the funding must benefit residents of Atherton.

We are looking for:

  • Creativity and originality
  • Something new, innovative and inventive
  • Collaboration – working together with other organisations
  • Ideas that build on existing or utilise existing assets and enable them to become more accessible to a wider group of people
  • Opportunities to bring people together in new ways, and in new or different places
  • We want everyone to be involved – ideas that have a wide reach, that are engaging and involve people that are not already engaged
  • Offer more opportunities for people to come together
  • Support people in the community to develop new skills and provide new volunteering opportunities 
  • Tackle issues that are impacting local people - Loneliness, mental health, keeping healthy and active, creating spaces for people to connect and come together, and other issues that the communities of Atherton see as important to them.
  • Projects that can be sustainable longer term without additional funding.
  • Projects that create a legacy for the community to build on after the project.

We are keen to see evidence of outcomes expected from your proposal, for example:

  • Ideas to help promote activities and increase awareness, engagement and participation
  • Number of people participating in activities
  • Level of increased engagement within the community
  • Number of new activities undertaken as a result of community feedback
  • Number of activities or events that build on community spirit and bring communities from different backgrounds together
  • Number of activities to improve social connection to reduce isolation
  • Activities and ideas that promote equality and inclusion.

Who can apply?

Organisations based in Wigan Borough but the project must benefit residents of Atherton, particularly small community based local groups, that encourage community spirit, engage volunteers and who need some financial support so that they can continue to work with their communities.

Organisations who have a community bank account with 2 signatories (not at the same address). The account must be in the name of the community group.

Organisations with a governing document, such as a constitution.

We cannot fund private limited companies.

Organisations that are not for profit. (By this we mean that all income is used to achieve the organisation’s charitable aims and cannot be paid out to members, shareholders or owners. relation to a CIC – a CIC limited by shares is still not eligible as it has shareholders who can draw dividends).

How much can l apply for?

Large or small, your idea or project could make a real difference.

As a guide, proposals up to £20,000 will be accepted and the project must be delivered within 12 months.

  • Please include a copy of the quote you have been provided for any works within your proposal 
  • Please indicate if your quote includes VAT.

If your proposal is over £20,000, please get in touch with us to discuss your project.

How do I apply

Local groups understand how they can work best in their community, just tell us what you want to do and what positive things your activity will provide for those in your community.

We are asking for groups to submit a proposal on a template provided by the Wigan Borough Communities Team. You should email for this to be emailed to you, it should include:

  • Details about your organisation and other partners involved
  • Tell us about your project and the people that will benefit (include areas within Atherton)
  • Tell us why the project is needed?
  • How much money you will need (proposals up to £20,000)
  • Tell us about what consultation you have done in the local community to confirm that this project is needed and how people are being involved in the planning of this project
  • Identify the priorities & outcomes that the project is going to deliver
  • Identify how the project will be self-sustaining
  • Please provide evidence of match funding – this can be in kind, match funding or volunteer time.

Please email your completed proposal to

Deadline for applications

  • 11:59pm on Sunday 8th September 2024

What we won’t fund

  • Trips and excursions
  • Uniforms
  • Religious or political activities
  • Mobile phones and contracts
  • Salaries
  • Utility bills including insurance
  • Applications where planning permission / or agreement by land owner hasn’t already been agreed (where applicable)
  • Projects that have already been funded or already been delivered
  • Expenses
  • Project planning and consultant fees
  • For any capital projects, the project will have to have no revenue consequences and/or be sustainable in the future. This fund will be a one off so will not commit to any ongoing costs.

Need help?

If you would like more support, have an idea that needs some development, or have any questions, please contact the Wigan Borough Communities Team:

It would be great to chat with you before you submit your proposal, contact us on the email above to speak with a Community Capacity Officer to discuss your idea.

Sign up to our weekly funding newsletter - Email your name, name of the group to

© Wigan Council