Torridge District Council has launched another round of funding to help residents struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The council has launched the fourth round of Household Support Funding with effect from Wednesday, April 5.

Nationally, £842m has been made available by central Government to cover the period April 2023 to March 2024.

Devon County Council has received just over £10m from this sum, part of which it will utilise for its own support projects such as holiday school meal provision and a prepayment meter energy relief scheme operated through Citizens Advice.

Around £4M will be split amongst the district councils for targeted support to those identified in need, with Torridge receiving £444,000 to allocate across the district.

The previous three schemes have already released payments totalling £402,000 to meet basics household costs of struggling Torridge residents with the council adding a further £36,000 from its own resources.

In line with previous versions of the scheme the purpose of the grant is to provide support to households experiencing hardship due to the ongoing cost of living crisis, which has seen inflation top 10 per cent or more in recent months.

The grants will be available to help people in need to buy food, pay essential utility bills or meet other essential living or housing costs.

Previous assistance has already allowed people to buy clothing, blankets, and fund boiler servicing or repairs during the winter months. Applications can also be made to meet the cost of purchasing or repairing white goods such as fridges, freezers and ovens, which might otherwise currently be beyond the means of struggling households.

Access to the fund will once again be via a form, with initial applications being processed by the council’s partner and local charity organisation, Encompass.

The application form link will be available on Torridge District Council’s website by clicking on the Cost of living Help icon on the main landing page and then the Household Support Fund link.

Alternatively people can contact Encompass through their website or by telephone if they do not have access to the internet on 01271 371499.

Steve Hearse, Chief Executive of Torridge District Council, said: “Like other authorities we have been careful not to restrict the application process to particular narrow categories or types of expenditure.

!As well as more obvious assistance with food, utility bills or other major costs people may also need help with covering the cost of essential clothing, repairs to their vehicles or to pay for a monthly bus pass, to name just a few.

“What people need will very much depend on their circumstances, and as well as applying for these funds, we would also encourage them to check out all the other advice and links we have signposted on our website under the “Cost of Living Help” section.”