YOUNG people in Hampshire are set to benefit in the county council's new budget, announced today.

The Conservative-run council, up for election in May, rubber stamped major spending increases in education, child care and adult services.

It will dip into its £307m cash reserves to balance the budget over the next two years and fund programmes including faster broadband in rural areas and a Winchester district heating scheme.

Leader Ken Thornber also announced 1,000 council apprenticeships for unemployed young people over the next five years, with guaranteed jobs when they end, and 30 university scholarships over three years for children from underprivileged families.

He said: “This is a budget about giving hope to 1,000 young people and is about securing jobs and expanding the economy of Hampshire.”

Cllr Thornber added the council has made £130m savings over the past two years, including cutting 1,800 jobs, reducing payroll by £46m.

Another £600m will be spend on capital projects such as expanding school places, improving roads and housing for the elderly.