A CASH injection to tackle childhood obesity includes plans to work with takeaways to offer healthier options.

The government announced £100,000 will be awarded to Blackburn with Darwen Council each year, over the next three years, to tackle the problem.

It is one of five councils to trial new programmes.

The plans include working with takeaways to overhaul their menus and offering health, food and nutrition apprenticeships to 15 to 19-year olds in deprived areas.

But health campaigners and council chiefs believe more money is needed.

Cllr Brian Taylor, assistant executive for health and wellbeing at the council, said: “We’re delighted to receive this money. More money would have been better but hopefully we can make the best possible use of it.”

Cllr Taylor said the funding will see the council try to ensure all new restaurants and hot food takeaways offer healthier options.

He said this would include incentivising existing retailers to change their menus to include healthy options by offering awards such as Recipe 4 Health.

Figures published last year show some 4.86 per cent of children leaving Blackburn primary schools were severely obese in 2016/17, compared with an England average of 4.06 per cent.

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said the extra funding is not enough.

Mr McLean said: “The money is a drop in the ocean and more is needed for education and exercise programmes and dietary advice.”

Abdul Toheed, owner of Lala’s Takeaway in Randal Street, Blackburn, said his takeaway would support the scheme.

Mr Toheed said: “We’re happy to work with the council and have made changes to our menu, including reducing salt by 15 per cent in our pizzas. We also offer healthy options including stir-fries with peppers and onions and more salads.”