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Eligible homes across Darlington could be in line to receive free central heating systems thanks to a project being led by the council.

Darlington Borough Council, along with six other North East councils, has been awarded almost £1.4m funding from the Warm Homes Fund to install free central heating systems in certain parts of the region.

The Warm Homes Fund is a £150m fund administered by Affordable Warmth Solutions across England, Wales and Scotland, designed to help households who can’t afford to heat their home to the temperature needed to stay warm and healthy.

To qualify you must be an owner occupier, or have a private landlord if you rent, in one of the seven local authorities: Darlington Borough Council, Durham County Council, Northumberland County Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

The applicant must also meet the below criteria:

  1. i) Live in a property which does not have, and never has had a central heating system, or where the main method of heating is by the use of solid fuels.

And one of the following:

  1. ii) Live in a qualifying postcode area; or,

iii) Be in receipt of a specified benefit, including income-related job seekers allowance or income support; or be classed as being in fuel poverty.

The funding will see central heating systems installed in more than 300 homes in the partner local authority areas.

In Darlington some potentially eligible properties have also been identified using information provided from the Energy Performance Certificate register and the council has sent letters to those specified detailing how they can apply for the fund.

Eligible residents have until 31 May to apply for the free installation.

If a property qualifies a survey will then be carried out to work out the best type of heating system for the property.

Cllr Chris McEwan, Cabinet member for economy and regeneration at the council, said:

“We want to install central heating systems in homes where it will make the most difference.

“For you to qualify, the installation of a new central heating system must improve the energy rating of your home. This will be determined by our surveyor at the whole house assessment stage, once your application has been approved.”

To check their eligibility residents can call our partner authority, Northumberland County Council on 01670 624140 or go to the