YOUNG adults turning 16 this year in the Vale of Clwyd may have a pleasant surprise in store.

Parents in St Asaph are being urged to double-check if they set up Child Trust Fund in 2005, which could be worth hundreds of pounds to 16-year-olds.

The scheme was set up with a contribution of £250 from the Welsh Assembly Government, followed by another £250 contribution when eligible children from low income families turned seven with the aim of encouraging parents to begin saving for their children.

However, there may be many people across the Vale of Clwyd who have forgotten or may be unaware of the money which could now total hundreds of pounds.

Chris Ruane, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, said : “Although the scheme was set up in 2005, children born from September 2002 were eligible.”

“If a child was born into a low-income household then payments would have totalled £500.

“The aim was that the money would be invested in cash or stocks and shares on the child’s behalf until they turned 18, when they would a lump sum made available.”

The amount the government provided was reduced in August 2010, before the short-lived scheme was stopped entirely in 2011.

It is thought that there are six million young people across Wales with savings in these accounts.

This month marks 16 years since eligibility for the first funds began and, under the rules, about 75,000 children turning 16 this month can apply to take over the management of their fund from their parents, carers, or the UK tax authority.

Although they are unable to withdraw these savings until they turn 18, they will still be able to manage their account such as choosing which provider oversees their investment.

Mr Ruane added:“I would hope that the government would start trying to help link the account holder to their funds by writing to people directly but there is a service to help people find out where their Trust Fund is, and I would urge people to use it.”

The service can be found: