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Youngsters give thumbs up to new bank accounts

Stanley Primary School pupils, L-R Cameron Kilbride, 11, Amy Marsden, 10, Declan Anchors, 11, and Melissa Morrison, 11.

Stanley Primary School pupils, L-R Cameron Kilbride, 11, Amy Marsden, 10, Declan Anchors, 11, and Melissa Morrison, 11.

Youngsters have given their verdict on plans to open a bank account for every 11-year-old in Blackpool, complete with a £10 deposit.

Blackpool Council announced its plans on Friday to set up the investment scheme for thousands of resort schoolchildren in a bid to encourage financial responsibility and saving for the future.

The scheme will cost £30,000 a year, funded from council coffers, and will see the money invested in and run by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.

And it’s been given the thumbs up from the resort’s current cohort of Year 7’s.

Lois Olivia James, a 12-year-old pupil at South Shore Academy, said: “It will encourage young people to be more responsible and start saving up for their future.”

And Seamus Ward, 11, a pupil at St Mary’s Catholic College, added: “I think it’s a generous idea.”

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said the scheme was intended to teach youngsters about finances from an early age.

He added: “We want to give our young people the best possible chance in life.”

The full terms of the scheme are yet to be formalised but it is anticipated children won’t be able to access their money until they turn 16.

Youngsters offer mixed ideas on how they might spend it though.

“I don’t think I would spend it,” said 12-year-old Callum Wood, a Montgomery High School pupil who has ambitions to be a scientist or inventor.

“I would save up until I needed it for university or invest it in a project.

“It’s a really good idea if people keep saving it. It’s very important to have savings.”

Lois added: “I would save up for something special.”

Chloe Parfitt, 12, a pupil at Bispham High School, suggested using her savings to put towards a car to use for college or work when she’s older.

She added: “It’s a good way for the council to spend money – it’s generous.”

Around 1,400 pupils will be eligible for the scheme, which will not be means tested and is set to start in September, with parents being given the choice to opt in or out.

Callum, who already has a savings account, added: “I suppose it will cost the council a lot of money that they could spend somewhere else.

“But it is a very good initiative because if people are not in debt they will spend more and it would help the economy and the country to hopefully improve.”

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