Funding plan for scheme that helps Preston sex workers

Streetlink recently marked its 20th anniversary
Streetlink recently marked its 20th anniversary

City council leaders are considering plugging a funding shortfall for a Preston scheme aimed at helping sex workers leave a life of prostitution.

Cabinet members will vote this week on proposals to hand £15,000 to the Streetlink project, based at the Foxton Centre.

Streetlink, which recently marked its 20th anniversary, has been backed in recent years by lottery funding.

But it finds itself in need of cash while a further application for lottery funding is assessed.

A report set to go before cabinet this week reads: “The reason the project needs interim funding is due to their request for lottery funding being unsuccessful.

"This was due to a change in the way applications were dealt with due to how the lottery works internally.”

In the meantime, the scheme has received £24,000 from the Lancashire County Council Public Health organisation and a further £35,000 from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The city council’s £15,000 contribution will be found from an underspend in the Housing Advice budget.

Jeff Marsh, CEO of the Foxton Centre, said they were reapplying for Lotto funding but it could take 12 months. He added: “We have looked to local partners to come up with an interim solution while we come up with plan B.

“We feel (the project) is a vital bit of work – dealing with women at risk of violence and with complex needs.”