Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation


Judging by the number of VCS organisations on the Wigan and Leigh CVS database, Wigan’s has the second-largest concentration of VCS organisations after Rochdale and has the second-highest number of known organisations after Manchester. Wigan is characterised by a large amount of small-scale neighbourhood activity and an absence of activity by the big national charities. The representation of the community sector is much stronger than that of the voluntary sector. This fragmentation may be exacerbated by a traditional rivalry between the towns of Wigan and Leigh. Generally speaking, Wigan and Leigh CVS notes that little is known about the VCS in this district.

Population*                                                       303,900
Number of VCS groups                                      1687
Number of VCS groups per 1000 population     5.5 
Deprivation Index (1 being the highest)*          53 
Population Density (per km squared)*              1,603
Number of infrastructure organisations             3
Number of infrastructure service providers        3

*Source: Neighbourhood Statistics. The Office for National Statistics,, accessed in August 2005.

For more detailed information about all areas of Greater Manchester see Spinning the Spider’s Web – a Mapping of Greater Manchester’s Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure.

The local support agency for the voluntary and community sector is Wigan and Leigh CVS.

The National Survey of Third Sector Organisations, commissioned by the Office of the Third Sector from Ipsos Mori, gives statistics about the local voluntary sector, its funding, and its relationship with the local authority. Please note that this survey has been controversial, due to its failure to include organisations that are ‘under the radar’, because of not being on the Charity Commission database.

The Wigan Metropolitan Council website contains a wealth of information about the local area. Wigan Information System of Dynamic Online Maps offers access to data on demographics, health, education, transport, crime and disorder. Access is restricted to organisations that work with or for the Wigan Borough Partnership.

The North West Regional Intelligence Unit has produced place profiles about each local authority district. These profiles are supposed to give an impression of the distinct features of each district and cover history, assets, environment (including districts’ footprints) and economic functionality.
Short reports about each borough provide an overview over certain subjects, such as the housing market, migration and crime.,2DJT,LEMNJ,7I0L,1

The North West Public Health Observatory publishes an annual health profile for each local authority, which reports on health indicators such as smoking, obesity, life expectancy, relative to the national average.

In 2004, the DEFRA Rural Statistics Unit produced rural profiles for each local authority district, which contain statistics about the size and demographics of the rural population, tenancy types in the rural areas, car ownership and access to services.