PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson has welcomed the launch of a government fund for life-saving defibrillators, and urged local community groups to bid.

The government has launched the application process for the Community Automated External Defibrillators (AED) fund. Community organisations can apply for a grant to fund a defibrillator for their local area.

Backed by £1 million of government funding, the defibrillator grant will provide at least 1,000 new defibrillators for community spaces across England. Each new defibrillator will be externally mounted to enable 24 hour access by members of the public.

Latest research shows use of the devices within three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40 per cent.

To receive funding, community organisations will be asked to demonstrate that defibrillators will be placed in areas where they are most needed.

Mr Stephenson said, “Having helped support several local initiatives, Pendle already has a good number of life-saving defibrillators in place including in all our schools.

“However, there’s still room to improve coverage and you never know when or where a defibrillator could be urgently needed to save someone’s life. That’s why I’m urging community groups across Pendle to consider applying to the fund.”