YOUNG people have been urged to come up with ideas on how to spend almost £9,000 in unclaimed cash available for small youth group projects.

A total of £8,894 remains in this year’s youth budget for the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade area and applications must be in before the start of next year.

Wiltshire Council is set to hold elections next year and grants cannot be allocated once politicians enter the pre-election period known as purdah, so bids have to be submitted for the last area board meeting before the ballot on January 23.

Coun Jacqui Lay (Con, Purton) urged young people across the area to submit ideas for how to spend the cash.

She said: “It has been brought to our attention this week that our area board has an untouched youth budget of £8,894.

“The board can use this budget to award funding to local initiatives led by young people or young groups or clubs that will benefit young people in the community area.

“Unfortunately, there is not time to receive any applications for the November meeting, and the March meeting has been cancelled.

“Therefore, applications would need to be in for the January board meeting.

“No decisions on the budget can be made when we enter purdah and, while money can be carried over if it is not claimed, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to apply for it.

“For example, it could be something like a shelter for the seats at the skate park in Purton, which I know the young people have asked about.

“If they went to the parish council, applied to the Area Board and did the project themselves then they could put it on their CV and employers would see they had some initiative.

“The community area manager is working on a loose set of application guidelines and an application form, and we intend to launch this budget at the November meeting.”

The next meeting of the area board, where more details of the budget will be released, will take place on Wednesday, November 28 at St Bartholomew’s Primary School, in Royal Wootton Bassett from 6pm.

To find out more about applying for grants contact the new Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade community area manager Penny Bell on 01249 706613 or or your local Wiltshire councillor.