An East Lancashire MP with an autistic child has led a welcome for a government grant of more than £21 million to boost provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities in the county.

Rossendale and Darwen backbencher Sir Jake Berry joined his Burnley and Pendle Conservative parliamentary colleagues Antony Higginbotham and Andrew Stephenson in hailing the special SEND cash award.

Lancashire County Council is set to receive £19.2m and Blackburn with Darwen £2.5m, as part of the government’s latest £850m cash handout to councils across the country to ensure pupils with SEND have school places to meet their needs.

Sir Jake, who revealed his son's diagnosis in September, said he was delighted at the new money for the two authorities which comes amid national concern about the lack of suitable places in the education system nationwide.

Lancashire Telegraph: Andrew StephensonAndrew Stephenson

He said: “As the parent of an autistic child, I know how hard it can be to find the right support for children with SEND.

“I have been calling on the Government to boost funding for SEND places for some time, and I’m delighted the government have now listened to those calls, providing more than £21m to the councils which serve Rossendale and Darwen.

“I’ll keep speaking up in Westminster to ensure that every child in Rossendale and Darwen receives the education and the support they need.”

Burnley MP Mr Higginbotham said: “The reason why I’ve placed so much focus on education over the past four years is because I believe it plays such a vital part in the mission to level up our area.

"We have some amazing work taking place locally to help those young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

"I saw a part of that first-hand last week with the work of Project SEARCH.

Lancashire Telegraph: Antony HigginbothamAntony Higginbotham

"But I’ve also visited Broadfield Specialist School, welcomed TAS St James down to Parliament and spoken with government ministers about the need to go further in our support of these types of schools.

"That’s why I’m delighted to see an extra £19 million being put into SEND school places within Lancashire.”

Pendle's Mr Stephenson said: “I want every child within my constituency to have the same opportunity to meet their potential, so it is vital that children with SEND and AP get the support and resources they need.

“I am, therefore pleased to see that the government are investing £19,228,944 in Lancashire, which will deliver the education that meets the needs of children with SEND."