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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 3.00pm on Friday 31 March until 8.00am Monday 3 April 2023: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Warm Spaces Network

Can your organisation offer a space where someone can go to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company with others? If so, join our Warm Spaces Network.

We know that many organisations across County Durham already provide the facilities of a warm space. If yours is one of those, we're asking you to consider joining our Warm Spaces Network and be promoted to residents as a Warm Space near them.

If you aren't eligible or don't want to apply for the grant detailed below, but can still offer a Warm Space, let us know by emailing

If you operate in one or more of the areas that believe housing operates you may be eligible for their Believe Housing: keep warm, keep well community grant.

Grant funding to support your Warm Space

Through County Durham Community Foundation we are offering grants of up to £1,000 to community groups to help them offer a Warm Space. This could be something set up specifically to help people this winter or to support and widen an existing service that you offer. For example, the grant could cover the costs of providing a designated space with chairs and hot drinks, open at regular times each week.

The fund will also consider applications from local groups running activities for a particular community, such as a toddler group. The grants could be used for the following purposes:

  • utility bills, including gas and electricity
  • staff time
  • volunteer expenses
  • venue hire
  • equipment or furniture (for example extra chairs) for the warm space
  • the provision of drinks and food for those accessing the warm space

If you run a regular event at a community centre and hire a room, please check if the community centre is applying as only one grant will be awarded per venue.

Who can't apply for funding

The following are not eligible to receive funding from this programme:

  • activities that require members to pay fees or subs
  • profit-making or business ventures
  • parish councils that have the equivalent of 50% or more of their previous annual expenditure in reserves

Free training for Warm Spaces

To help organisations set up Warm Spaces we are offering free training to help organisations who need it. Details of this will be provided when you make your application or register your warm space. Training on offer includes:

  • where to signpost people to for advice and support
  • people skills
  • making the most of your income 
  • food safety including managing allergens
  • safeguarding
  • domestic abuse awareness
  • mental health first aid
  • risk assessments

Other support

When you register your warm space, we'll provide you with posters to show you offer a Warm Space.

Apply for a grant from the Warm Spaces Fund.

If you operate in one or more of the areas that believe housing operates you may be eligible for their Believe Housing: keep warm, keep well community grant.


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