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Residents without a central heating system in their home could be eligible to receive it for free if they apply before the end of the month.

The Warm Homes Fund, which is designed to help households who find it difficult to heat their homes to the temperature needed to stay warm and healthy, is offering free central heating for homes across seven council areas, including County Durham.

To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

1 You must be the owner occupier or have a private landlord if you rent

2 Your home does not have, and never has had, a central heating system OR the main method of heating your home is the use of solid fuels

AND one of the following:

-You live in a qualifying postcode area

-You are in receipt of a qualifying income-related benefit

-If, based on low income, high cost calculation, you are currently classed as in fuel poverty.

Homes with storage heaters, electric room heaters, solid fuel fires and single gas fires may qualify as these do not count as central heating systems.

Cllr Kevin Shaw, Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “We know some people find it difficult to heat their homes and those using outdated and inefficient systems often find themselves facing even bigger bills.

“We would encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for this funding to apply online as getting a new central heating system can really make a difference to bills.”

The offer, which is open for new applicants until Thursday, 31 May, is being administered by Northumberland County Council.

Find out if you qualify by calling 01670 624140 or visiting www.northumberland.gov.uk/whf

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