Bolton has been handed an unexpected one-off cash boost of more than £1M for projects like improved parks and play areas all over the borough.

The council had already heard that it was due to receive a rebate worth around £1.2M , which was earmarked for free bulky waste pick ups and removing fly tips.

But officials have now revealed that the sum will in fact be around £2.2M, an extra million more than had been expected, which can now be spent across various communities.

Bolton Council leader Cllr Nick Peel said: “This is great news, we knew we might get more than expected, but not this much more!

“We are committed to our February decision about funding free bulky waste pick up and clearing fly tips from un-adopted roads, but the extra cash will mean that we can get on with many more projects.

The Bolton News: Bolton Council has unveiled an extra £1M to spendBolton Council has unveiled an extra £1M to spend (Image: Newsquest)

“Each ward will now receive £50,000 each for local projects in their areas, instead of £25,000.

“In addition, £900,000 will be allocated to our priorities across the borough.”

“We want to see a geographical spread, but the issues that we will concentrate on will be improving play area equipment, community safety investments, and improvements to local parks.”

The original £1.2M rebate had been received from the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

The council agreed to spend part of the funding on ward projects came after an amendment put by the Horwich and Blackrod First Party as part of an agreement to support the Labour Group's budget.

This was similar to a deal the group had struck with the previous Conservative administration at the last budget to agree to £1M worth of funding split across the wards of Bolton. 

The council heard in February that the money was due to be paid thanks to extra profits at a power station in Runcorn, which is jointly owned by Greater Manchester councils.

At the time the council decided that as well as piloting the free bulk waste pick ups and fly tip removals there would also be funds allocated to all councillors for projects in their areas.

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Officials believed in February that the real figure could have been higher but have been taken by surprise that at £2.2M it is in fact almost double the £1.2M originally expected.

The payments were decided as part of the council budget for this financial year, which saw council tax raised by more than five per cent and around £8.6M million cut from services.

Because the rebate money is a one-off payment it will be spent on specific projects rather than being put into the council’s budget.

Council cabinet member for the environment Cllr Richard Silvester is now set to decide on how the money is spent after receiving input from councillors of all parties.