YOUTH groups are being urged to bid for a share of funding from a £250,000 council pot.
Town hall chiefs have axed their youth service in order to save £600,000, and instead will distribute grants to existing organisations in the town.
Coun Chris Maughan, cabinet member for young people, said; “Over the past few years times have been tough for youth organisations, as they face challenging funding issues.
“I can completely empathise with their situation as, following cuts from central government, we are also faced with having to make changes to the way we fund some youth provision.”
Organisations have welcomed the chance to bid for the cash.
Laurance Hancock, general manager of the Boathouse Project based in Lytham Road, South Shore, said; “It’s definitely something we are going to bid for.
“We would like to expand our services and try to access more young people – last year we accessed 459 young people.
“We can do a lot with money like this, because the majority of our staff are volunteers.”
Emile Timothy, commander of Blackpool Sea Cadets based in Bispham, said they needed money for equipment, training and to improve facilities.
He said: “We’re on a recruitment drive at the moment and successfully applying for some of this funding would really help us.
“We need funds to take our youngsters out on sailing trips, and for training for the older ones.
“We also need a new roof and toilet block on our building, and our mini-bus is on its last legs.”
Victoria Da Silva, district commissioner for Blackpool Scouts which has around 1,000 members in the town, said: “We are putting together a bid and could put some of this money to real practical use.
“It would help us provide scouting in all areas of Blackpool.”
The deadline for applications is February 28 and the application form can be found at www.blackpool.gov.uk/youthfund.