A NEW council initiative aimed at improving services for young people has been announced.

The Year of Young People Legacy Fund offers a total of £500,000 to causes across West Dunbartonshire which benefit people under the age of 26.

According to the council, the fund reflects the authority’s aspiration to improve the lives of young people across the area.

Aiming to build on the Year of Young People programme which ran throughout 2018 across the country, the council will now take applications from community groups and projects.

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The cash is open to any fully constituted groups in the WDC area, which provide activities and services for young people.

Groups can apply for funding of up to £10,000 - which can be spent over a four year period - which will support their work, allow them to purchase equipment, provide activities or enhance services for youngsters.

The deadline for applications has been set as Monday, September 30.

Councillor Ian Dickson, convener of corporate services, said: “This money will help support the many local organisations that provide services and activities to support and nurture our young residents. Groups can apply for grants of up to £10,000 and this can be spent over a 4 year period. I would encourage anyone interested in applying to come along to one of the sessions where staff will happily provide information on the grant.”

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Councillor Iain McLaren, vice convener of corporate services, said: “As a council we are committed to enhancing the lives of our young residents. I am pleased to see this investment which will be used by dedicated groups who are providing much-appreciated activities and support to our young people.”

Applications are available through the council website, and will be considered by a select panel of council officers and community representatives.

Hopefuls will be judged on whether their applications adhere to the criteria set by the local authority, with the panel meeting in October.