A TRAILBLAZING community lottery scheme to help some of Allerdale’s most vulnerable people has been given the green light.

The borough’s leading councillors have this week agreed to establish the Allerdale Community Lottery to benefit good causes in the area.

The move is intended to alleviate budget pressures on the cash-strapped council by creating a new source of income to support the borough’s residents.

Speaking at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Allerdale executive, coun Paul Scott described the idea as an “exciting opportunity” for local organisations that might normally struggle to access much-needed funds.

Under the plans, players will be able to say which local charity or organisation they wish to benefit every time they buy a ticket.

Organisations can choose to sign up to access the funding on the condition that they are not-for-profit and provide services or activities for Allerdale residents.

Scouts, Guides, sports and drama club groups, arts organisations and charities supporting the vulnerable will be among the good causes receiving a cash boost from the lottery.

Allerdale has also agreed to appoint Gatherwell Ltd, which already runs successful draws for around 100 other councils in England, as its external lottery manager.

Players will sign up for subscription to the lottery through a dedicated website where they will be able to nominate their chosen charity.

It is expected that local charities will encourage their supporters to join the lottery to enable them to raise funds for their activities.

Players can also choose to support the community fund which Allerdale council will distribute to good causes.

Tickets will cost £1, with 60p going to good causes, 20p to the prize fund, 16p to lottery management and 4p to VAT.

The maximum weekly jackpot prize draw will be £25,000 or 10 per cent of the gross ticket sales, whichever is greater.

The Allerdale Community Lottery is approved by the Gambling Commission and will be run as a “low risk model”.

Mr Scott, the executive member for transformation, stressed that the scheme would “not encourage gambling”.

He said: “Players will be able to take part by signing up in advance, there will be no instant reward and the prize is relatively small.”

The scheme will cost the council around £8,300 to set up.