Bolton 2030 is our exciting vision for Bolton’s future

“In 2030, we want Bolton to be a vibrant place built on strong cohesive communities, successful businesses and healthy, engaged residents. It will be a welcoming place where people choose to study, work, invest and put down roots”.

We have a strong, dynamic and diverse voluntary and community sector in Bolton and to help us achieve our vision we need to work together in a way that our residents feel empowered and builds on the good things that already exist in many of our neighbourhoods.

In September 2016 the Council relaunched the Community Empowerment Fund so that local community, voluntary and other not for profit organisations can apply for funding to help us achieve the priorities that are set out within our Vision 2030.

Large or small – your idea could make a real difference!

The 2016 criteria

What stays the same

Community Empowerment Fund remains to be a one-off investment.
There are two levels of funding:

  • from £500 and up to £2,000 over 12-months
  • over £2,000 and up to £40,000 over 2 years

Proposals must be:

  • new, ambitious and innovative
  • developed, implemented and most importantly, owned and sustained by the community
  • focussed on helping people to help themselves, so that demand and dependency on Council services is reduced

What has changed

From September 2016, the Council is inviting proposals that provide opportunities for Bolton people to be active and connected and help us towards achieving at least one of the following priority themes:

  • Giving our children the best possible start in life, so that they have every chance to succeed and be happy.
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of our residents so that they can live healthy, fulfilling lives for longer.
  • Supporting older people in Bolton to stay healthier for longer, and to feel more connected with their communities.
  • Protecting and improving our environment, so that more people enjoy it, care for it and are active in it.
  • Developing stronger, cohesive and more confident communities in which people feel safe, welcome and connected.

We want to make a difference

We want you to come up with new and innovative ideas that have the right ingredients to make a real difference in our communities. We would like to see opportunities for people to become more active and connected, while helping them to help themselves. For example, by:

  • Running a local community facility, such as a Council owned community centre
  • Getting more local people regularly involved in your community – such as volunteering to help keep your neighbourhoods and streets clean
  • Joining up with other groups or organisations in your community to work together
  • Encouraging people to reduce waste and recycle more
  • Promoting, maintaining and using local parks and green spaces
  • Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Improving people’s health
  • Reducing the number of children living in poverty

You may have many more ideas of your own...

Want to know more?

We are keen to hear from as many local people and voluntary and community groups that have ideas they want to develop or need more information about the fund before deciding to apply.

Take a look at our guidance and frequently asked questions and if you’re still not sure, email us at

How do I apply?

Apply online

Please make sure you read the guidance as your answers will affect the success of your application.

If you don’t have access to a computer, please contact  Bolton CVS who are happy to provide support if you need it, telephone 01204 546010 or email

Alternatively, we have around 200 computers available for you to use throughout Bolton libraries, Bolton Town Hall One Stop Shop and UCAN centres.  

Examples of success

  • A residents’ association has been awarded £1,500 to help develop and grow their volunteers to be more confident in engaging with local children and young people. The funding will pay for the training costs of the volunteers and for some events and activities, including after school homework clubs, litter picking, and some sporting activities.
    This will reduce demand on council services because young people will be involved in positive activities, which includes helping to keep their neighbourhood free of litter.
    This is an investment because the group will continue delivering these activities beyond the first 12-months and will also work towards the Bolton Quality Mark accreditation, giving them access to support and further funding opportunities.
  • A group of local football, cricket and rounders teams have joined forces to create a Community Sports Club. The club has been successful in securing £50,000 Community Empowerment Funding to increase participation in their sports over the next two years.
    This will reduce demand on council services because through the Community Empowerment Fund process, the Council and the club have been able to develop a new partnership arrangement so they can self-manage the pitches by carrying out their own maintenance, mowing and lining. 
    This is an investment because the arrangement enables the club to increase the amount of sporting activities they can offer and to access other sources of funding. Additionally, members of the public who may also use the pitches will benefit from the improvements made by the club.

Download these additional resources:

Bolton Council

Telephone 01204 333333

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