A NEW campaign to tackle childhood obesity on the Fylde coast will be launched later this year thanks to a £500,000 cash boost from football bosses.
Blackpool FC Community Trust hope to combat the serious epidemic with their health project Fit2Go.
The trust received a £500,000 grant from the Premier League to work with children in primary schools across Blackpool.
In conjunction with Blackpool Council and NHS Blackpool it hopes to reduce childhood obesity while creating new jobs.
Former Seasider and senior community officer Derek Spence said the obesity epidemic in Blackpool was shocking.
He added: “This campaign co-incides with new figures released which show children’s waistlines are 8cm bigger now then they were 30 years ago.
“These are worrying figures and we hope to change those statistics in the North West with our new project.
“It is a two pronged attack, we want youngsters to take part in physical activity but also to learn about health education.
“By working with primary schools we can teach children about healthy living while they are at an impressionable age.”
Derek said the scheme, due to be launched in September, will create up to ten jobs.
He said: “This is really great news, especially in a town where it all seems to be doom and gloom at the moment.
“We really hope people who have lost their jobs, especially in the public sector, apply for these jobs and work with us.
“The trust is extremely optimistic about the project and believe we’re making children of today into adults of tomorrow.”
Director of strategic development Roger Reade said the trust would not have received the grant without the help and support of Blackpool Council and NHS Blackpool.
He added: “To qualify for the grant we needed to bring in our own match-funding and without that we could not have applied for money.”
A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “Having a Premier League football team in Blackpool has had many benefits.
“It’s great that its given us an opportunity to encourage more young people in the local area to get involved in sports and start to lead a healthier lifestyle.”