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£2.5M boost for borough’s most deprived

HYNDBURN is set to receive a £2.5M cash boost from the Government to plough into schemes to improve the lives of residents.

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HYNDBURN is set to receive a £2.5M cash boost from the Government to plough into schemes to improve the lives of residents.

The cash has come from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund (NRF) and will be spent over the next two years.

There are currently 26 schemes up and running to tackle poverty and hardship in the borough's four most deprived wards: Barnfield, Spring Hill, Central and Church.

Funded by previous NRF grants, these cover health, housing, community safety, education and leisure.

Some will benefit again when the new money becomes available in April, as will a further 10 new projects. Others have become self-sufficient and are now being funded by public service bodies.

Mark Hopley, strategic manager for the council's regeneration arm, Hyndburn FIRST, said: "The aim is for the NRF cash to engage local public service providers to help to improve services.

"We are currently reviewing our strategy on this to see what we have done and what still needs to be done.

"We will look at local priorities such as community safety, housing and the environment, health and social care, economy, education and culture and leisure.

"We are targeting the four wards because these areas have the highest level of crime and anti-social behaviour, and the residents who live there experience the poorest health conditions."

Last September, Hyndburn Council's Cabinet also voted to use some of the forthcoming money to match-fund a bid to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to continue its Neighbourhood Warden scheme.

Welcoming news of the cash boost at last week's Cabinet meeting, deputy council leader Councillor Jim Dickinson said: "When you look at the schemes they are about people's well-being and health so this is excellent material. These schemes are at the heart of the communities."