The Mayor of Greater Manchester has backed a local MP's bid to bring Bury FC's ground, Gigg Lane, under community ownership.

The pledge of support comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcement the Community Ownership Fund as part of the 2021 Budget address in Parliament today, March 3.

The £150m fund will 'help community groups buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost', the government has said.

Gigg Lane, the home of Bury FC

Bury North MP James Daly has long been vocal about 'bringing football back to Gigg Lane', which has stood empty since Bury FC's ejection from the English Football League.

In the wake of the community funding news, Mr Daly told constituents this afternoon that he 'will be helping to access this money for a community bid for Gigg Lane 'to ensure the survival of the cultural and sporting asset'.

The MP said: "I'll be helping to access this money for a community bid for Gigg Lane and I am hopeful that other local players will come to the table - the Chancellor has created this scheme for us to bid for it!

"We can do this now, it's really important."

Andy Burnham has backed the campaign to save Gigg Lane

In his latest coronavirus update, the Greater Manchester leader Andy Burnham - who was involved in the club's rescue meetings prior to its expulsion from the league in 2019 - said he would support the move.

"I will fully support James Daly and Eamonn O'Brien, leader of Bury Council, on this," said the mayor in the press conference.

"We need to make this a cross-party campaign.

"Gigg Lane is an important part of Greater Manchester's football heritage, certainly Bury's football heritage.

"We need to do whatever we can to protect what is an important community asset for future generations, so I will absolutely support that."

"I welcome the idea of a community ownership fund," added the mayor.

"We're keen to see more wealth kept within our communities in Greater Manchester and assets that matter to our communities protected.

"We'll look at the detail of the Chancellor's community ownership fund.

"On the Bury case specifically, and as somebody who is a football person, I would not want to see Gigg Lane disappear. It's played a big part in our football memories here over many decades.

"I think we need to see a cross-community, cross-party campaign to save it, and I'll certainly be working with James Daly on that."

Community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses.

In exceptional cases, up to £1 million in matched funding will be available to help establish a community-owned sports club or buy a sports ground at risk of loss from the community, said the MP.

Other local assets will also be bid for, said the MP, including Ramsbottom's co-op theatre.

The first bidding round for the Community Ownership Fund will open by June 2021. A full bidding prospectus will be published alongside this.