More than 1,400 children and young people were abused by peadophile gangs in Rotherham for 16 years Getty

Children's charity Barnardo's has been given more than £3m ($4.6m) to help tackle child exploitation in Rotherham after 1,400 young people were abused in the town.

The funding, provided by the KPMG Foundation, the Department for Education, the Department for Communities and Local Government and Rotherham Borough Council, will be used to hire 15 specialists to help those who have been sexually exploited.

The team will also work with schools and other local communities and run specialist training programmes for professionals to help spot the signs of sexual exploitation early.

The £3.1m payment arrived following a damning report by Profressor Alexis Jay in August 2014 which revealed how 1,400 children were abused and trafficked in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

The report blamed a number of factors for the failure to stop the "horrific" abuse suffered by the young victims down the years. The fall out of the report resulted in the entire cabinet at Rotherham council, as well as South Yorkshire Police and crime commissioner Shaun Wright, resigning.

South Yorkshire Police (SYP) was also criticised in a separate report in June as Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said the force still needs "major improvements" in how it deals with child protection.

Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan, said: "We are intent on tackling this horrendous crime and supporting victims as they try to rebuild their shattered lives. This partnership signals a new era as far as confronting child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Barnardo's is really proud to be a part of the team that will contribute to eradicating this horrific crime."

"With more than 20 years of experience in working with young people who have been sexually exploited we see first-hand how this abuse inflicts devastating damage to vulnerable children, with more and more girls and boys being referred to us every day. "

"We must all be alert to spotting the signs that sexual exploitation may be taking place. It is everyone's responsibility to protect those children who are most vulnerable from ruthless predators."

The minister for children and families, Edward Timpson, added the government must also play a role in stopping child exploitation.

He said: "It is our moral duty to continue to support children and young people who have suffered from such pernicious abuse, so they can go on to live a fulfilling and healthy adult life," he said.

"The new money announced today will play a vital part in this, making sure the right support is available for victims as they start on the road to recovery."