TEN East Lancashire schools and organisations have won a share of nearly £700,000 of lottery funding.

The Big Lottery funding of up to £10,000 per project will make a real difference to communities, according to organisers.

Schemes in East Lancashire include Blackburn With Darwen Multi Sports Association, which receives £10,000.

The cash will be used to provide a range of diversionary activities including sports, arts and community leadership training for disadvantaged young people.

The project aims to help discourage young people from becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or violent crime, reduce their risk of exclusion from school, and raise their aspirations through training.

Also awarded today are Chorley-based Brothers of Charity Network 50+ with £9,720 for a project to run a social networking and recreational programme for older people.

The scheme will include a wide range of creative, educational and health activities to help reduce social isolation.

The Awards for All programme offers grants of between £300 and £10,000 to social and environmental projects that will benefit local communities.

Other winners included The Blackburn Subscription Bowling Green Club; St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Darwen; Rosegrove Nursery School, Burnley; Pennine Lancashire Community Farm, Burnley; Blessed Trinity RC College, Burnley; Barrowford School; Briercliffe Primary School; Clayton-le-Moors Mount Pleasant Primary School; and Newchurch C of E Primary School, Rossendale.

Helen Bullough, Big Lottery Fund head of region, said: “These projects will make a real difference to those most in need across the North West.

“The awards reflect the vital role of Lottery funding across a diverse range of communities, whether it be providing crucial support for service and ex-service veterans and their families, offering young people with disabilities a chance to enjoy making music, or providing a community lifeline for isolated older people, today’s funding will bring positive changes to the lives of so many people.”