Care Market Innovation Fund

We’re delighted to launch our Care Market Innovation Fund and invite locally operating businesses in the care market or those wishing to enter the market to make an application.

The £1 million Care Market Innovation Fund will be targeted to support the ongoing transformation, quality and sustainability of the care home market. 

Addressing Priorities

Informed by our market sustainability assessment and local vision for adult social care, the fund will be prioritised around six transformation themes:

  • Workforce - Supporting recruitment, retention and upskilling of the workforce
  • Capacity - Supporting new and realigned capacity to respond to changing demands
  • Technology - Enabling a reformed menu of care through technology
  • Falls Management - Development of new least restrictive, innovative approaches
  • Energy Efficiency - Creating greener, more sustainable care services
  • Keeping People Healthy at Home - Building independence, staying healthy and avoiding un-needed hospital admissions.

We invite your thought-through and costed proposals and are open to all ideas and innovations.

The Market in Wigan

Wigan is one of the largest boroughs in Greater Manchester and the 9th largest metropolitan council out of 36 in England. The population of 324,700 is projected to rise to 346,000 by 2030. Wigan has the highest number of people aged over 65 and the fastest ageing population within Greater Manchester with the 85+ population estimated to grow by 65% over the next 15 years.

The Wigan Deal which underpins our approach to delivering adult social care, moving away from a traditional menu of services to an offer which has infinite opportunities within people’s natural communities. The Deal is focused on the principles of independence and self-reliance, helping people to remain at home for as long as possible, whilst ensuring a sustainable, high quality care home market is able to support people with more complex needs.

The Council is committed to ensuring excellent care at home, wherever home is, through a transformed model of commissioning and quality improvement focussed on the assets of individuals and partners, helping people to connect with each other, their families and their local community. Market shaping is considered a priority sponsored by political leaders and senior management.

Wigan’s care home market provides a range of residential and nursing care settings which support diverse categories of care including complex health and behaviours. The market consists of 29 different care operators across 52 care homes, providing 2,094 beds. This includes 28 residential homes (891 beds) and 23 that provide nursing care (1,203 beds) The Council directly operates one residential home specialising in dementia care.

Care home occupancy is good, in addition consistent investment in fees, innovation and the establishment of a dedicated team of quality performance officers to drive forward an enhanced approach to improving services centred on individual experiences, Wigan’s care home quality position is strong. Over 91% of Wigan Care Home beds are CQC rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ which is the highest in the northwest of England and 11th best in the country. The local care home market currently has no ‘Inadequate’ rated services.

As set out in Wigan’s Market Position Statement, demand for care home and homecare provision is increasing in line with our aging population and pressures through hospital discharge.

A strong continuum of care and support is a pre-requisite for a thriving health and social care economy. The ‘We Care About Care’ Adult Social Care prospectus and Market Position Statement describes our plans for continuing to invest in, develop and grow our continuum of support, including significant investment in Extra Care, alongside the continued expansion of early intervention and prevention services to reduce long-term dependency on care.

Wigan’s vision for adult social care is underpinned by the principles of the deal, helping people to remain as independent as possible in their own home and as part of their community, whilst ensuring a high quality and sustainable care home market able to support people with high acuity of need. The adult social care workforce forms a key strategic priority for the place, not just in ensuring there is sufficient capacity to meet future demand for care but recognising the sector’s contribution to the local economy and potential to drive forward the Council’s community wealth building ambition.

Wigan’s model of investment, commissioning and quality improvement means the local care home and homecare market is currently high quality and stable.

To support the continuation of this we re launching an innovation fund, inviting interested organisations in the care market to step forward with ideas which meet our identified priorities (listed above). Small changes, large innovation, changes which improve the lives of residents whilst aiding market sustainability are all welcome. 

Please take time to read through the detail and the application form. Should you have any queries please contact

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Decision Making Process

There will be a two-part process to awarding grants, an evaluation panel and an interview panel. 

If your application is unsuccessful at the evaluation stage, you will be informed by email.

If you are successful at evaluation panel you will be invited to attend an interview panel to talk about your idea. You will be notified following this as to whether you have been successful or not in securing funding.

How to apply

To apply for funding please complete our online innovation fund application.

The Timetable

  • 2nd June - Deadline for submission of proposals
  • Week commencing 5th June - Shortlisting by panel
  • 19th - 28th June - Presentations/panel interview slots
  • 29th June - Final panel decision
  • 30th June - Award/s made.

© Wigan Council