PAYMENTS of £250 are up for grabs as Dudley Council reopens its household support fund.

Awards of £250 (£300 if someone in the household has a disability) will be available to support those eligible with living costs over the winter.

The council will reopen phase two of its household support fund winter scheme on Wednesday January 17 at noon.

People are urged to be speedy with applications as demand is expected to be high. 

The fund is there to help low income households, including families, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people.

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said: "We expect demand to be high, so we’ll monitor applications and may have to close the scheme quickly.

"We hope to help as many households as possible who are on low incomes and need additional support with with household costs such as energy bills and essential items."

The council was awarded £5.2million last year through the government’s household support fund.

While a majority of the money is being is being used to support people that the council is already in contact with, it earmarked £800k to help others struggling with living costs.

The funding was split into two phases, with approximately £300k available in round one and £500k for phase two.

Phase two launched in October but was paused due to demand.

Councillor Clark said: "When we launched phase two in October, we saw the biggest demand yet and had to pause the scheme very quickly.

"This allowed us time to process the applications we had received and ensure we had enough money in the pot to help those who were eligible.

"Some funding is still available which means we are now able to reopen phase two to help those most in need."

Details of eligibility and how to apply are available online.