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'GOOD PRACTICE' OLDHAM SECURES£8.3M EC FUNDING

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Oldham MBC is celebrating an£8.3m cash allocation from Europe for regeneration initiatives, making the borough amo...
Oldham MBC is celebrating an£8.3m cash allocation from Europe for regeneration initiatives, making the borough amongst the most successful in Greater Manchester in attracting EC funding.

At the same time Oldham has been singled out by the Government Office for the North West and the EC for its effective bidding strategy.

The council's assistant chief executive Mark Sanders said:

'Part of our bid package included a community economic development initiative targeting seven priority wards. This was particularly successful and is now being seen as a pacesetter in this field,' he said.

The innovative initiative attracted the largest allocation received by any local authority in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire Objective 2 Programme area amounting to£3.2m. It will help fund community enterprises and training activity the most deprived wards of Oldham.

The remainder of the£8.3m allocation to Oldham will be used on a range of schemes including improvements to public spaces in the town centre, a new business enterprise centre, and support for new business start-ups.

Mr Sanders sand Oldham is hopeful for further EC funding for its cultural quarter initiative in the town centre involving a gallery of contemporary art, museum, theatre and performance area. The EC is also being seen as a source to help fund the Metrolink extension to Oldham by the new millennium and a bid for£9.35m has been made for this scheme.

Oldham's bidding process is co-ordinated and managed by the Partnership involving the council, Oldham Chamber, Oldham College, Oldham Sixth Form College, the police, health authority, the voluntary sector and other agencies.

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