YOUNG athletes in Hyndburn have been given a boost in their quest to be part of the 2012 Olympics thanks to a local grant scheme.

The 'Hyndburn Talented Young Athletes' Scheme has been created by the Leisure in Hyndburn Trust, with a helping hand from Barclays.

They will rely on donations and fundraising from residents and businesses to enable an annual grant of up to £500 to be distributed to talented athletes that meet a set criteria.

The fundraising was kick-started when Hyndburn Sports Centre celebrated its 30th birthday on January 7.

Barclays supported the event by providing the FA Premier League Trophy and visitors to the Sports Centre paid £1 to have their photo taken with the cup.

This raised £200 to put towards the fund, which was matched by Barclays as part of their Community Investment programme.

Hyndburn Sports Development Officer George Cull said: "We have managed to raise enough money to offer one grant to one lucky athlete.

"However our aim is to be able to help as many athletes in the borough as possible and this can only be achieved through the generosity of the public.

"We are one of the only areas in Lancashire providing financial support in this way and I would ask residents and businesses to consider making a donation, no matter how small."

Rachel Herbinson, Community Manager for Barclays said: "At Barclays we strive to strengthen local communities in which we live and work by supporting a range of causes from local schools to centres for older people.

"This is a fantastic example of Barclays staff fundraising with the local community to achieve something which we hope will make a real and lasting difference."

Details will be announced shortly regarding the application procedure for athletes and the grants will be distributed at the annual 'Hyndburn Sports Awards' in July this year.

Anybody who would like to make a donation, or find out any further information regarding the scheme can contact George Cull on 01254 380288 or .