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Lancashire warm spaces offer continues to grow thanks to incredible community effort

The number of warm spaces where people can visit in Lancashire is rapidly growing, as communities across the county step up to support and protect residents this winter.

We are developing a network of warm, safe and welcoming spaces that will provide residents with somewhere to keep warm, access information and advice or spend time with others.

In November, we launched a new small grants scheme to allow organisations in Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector, as well as parish and town councils, to create or improve their warm space offer in their local community.

Grants of up to £500 are available through a simple application process.

In the first month we have received 59 applications – with multiple applications made across all 12 districts – requesting a total of £27,457.74.

All the applications have been reviewed and approved by a panel, with payments now in the process of being distributed.

Following on from the launch of the grants scheme, we have launched a new online directory where people can search for warm spaces across Lancashire.

Those organisations wishing to offer a warm space are asked to sign up to the Lancashire Warm Spaces Charter – a set of seven core principles intended to help local people know what to expect when they enter a Lancashire Warm Space and what those providing spaces expect in return.

To date, 76 applications requesting registration to the Lancashire Warm Spaces directory have been approved.

This is in addition to the county council's entire library network, which have been designated as warm and welcome spaces where people can find a warm drink, a space to sit, free computers and Wi-Fi, charging points for digital equipment, events and activities and help from staff to find further information about what support is available.

Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "When we first started to take action to protect residents from the rising cost of living, we said that it was vital that partners across Lancashire continue to work together.

"We know that the scale of this task is huge and one that we cannot do alone.

"Once again, the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector, as well as our district councils, have stepped up to offer assistance.

"We have been blown away by the response we've had to the warm spaces grants scheme and directory, and now have a growing network of warm and welcoming spaces where people go.

"I want to express my gratitude to everyone who is helping with this effort, and we will continue to strive to support these endeavours over the coming months."

To learn more about Lancashire Warm Spaces and the other cost of living support available, visit: lancashire.gov.uk/costofliving