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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire families get extended support with food and utility bills

Families in Gloucestershire will receive extra support with food and key utility bills, thanks to the final extension of the Government's Covid Local Support Grant, announced today.

The government's Covid Local Support Grant, first introduced in December 2020, has been extended through to September, bringing it in line with the end date for furlough and other Covid-related support. This is beyond the planned ending of restrictions, to help families get back on their feet as the economy recovers and the vaccine rollout continues.

Across the country, families have been benefiting from the scheme in a number of ways, with support designed by local councils to make sure the needs of the community are met. Since the beginning of the scheme, support has included food vouchers and help with heating costs over the winter months.

With a new round of funding, councils will be able to continue this support and adapt their offer to suit the needs of families.

Anyone in need of support should contact Gloucestershire County Council here to find out how they can access it and what support will be available over the coming months.

Gloucestershire will receive £1,418,988 from this funding, in addition to the £2,386,560 previously received, bringing the investment to a total of £3,805,548.

The grant has distributed £24,054,245 to South West councils since it was introduced in December 2020. The funding is ring-fenced so that 80 per cent is used to support families with bills for food, key utilities and other essentials.

Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery, said: "This grant is ensuring that thousands of families get help with food and essential utility bills as we move back towards normality.

"The new funding extends this lifeline to those most in need in the coming months, as we continue to help families back on their feet, including supporting people back into work through our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs."

Across England, the total new funding is £160m, bringing the overall value of the support since December 2020 to £429.1m.

Between December 2020 and mid-April, almost 6.3 million payments went to vulnerable households in England. Across England 92 per cent of funding has been provided to families with children, and 94 per cent of funding has been used to support households with food or utility bills.

The Covid Local Support Grant is in addition to the £220m Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has been scaled up to cover the whole of England across the major school holidays in 2021 - including this summer. The HAF will provide disadvantaged children across the country with healthy meals and enriching activities.

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