A council has secured £1.7 million towards a heating homes scheme for central Weymouth.

The funding from National Grid’s Warm Homes Fund will go towards first time gas central heating installations in homes in Melcombe Regis, which includes the Park District and town centre.

Grants could be provided for up to 500 properties to receive an efficient, affordable, controllable gas heating system.

Funds will be targeted at households struggling to meet their heating costs, or households with medical conditions worsened by living in cold homes.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council says the Heat Melcombe Regis scheme is an opportunity for residents to make heating improvements to their homes.

Home owners and landlords are encouraged to contact Heat Melcombe Regis by calling 01305 550556, emailing hello@heatmelcomberegisproject.org.uk or by completing the online form at heatmelcomberegis.org.uk.

Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s spokesman for housing, said: “This funding is a great opportunity for residents to make significant heating improvements to their homes. Grants which cover the full cost of the works will be available for both home owners and to privately rented properties.”

“With other funding also available to provide better insulation, smart controls and low energy lighting, households in the ward will be able to benefit from lower energy costs and improved living conditions.”

Melcombe Regis has been identified as a priority area for the council. with areas within the ward continually reported as being amongst the more deprived in the country. Fuel poverty is reported to affect 21 per cent of households in the park district.

The Heat Melcombe Regis initiative will be managed by the borough council’s delivery partners, Aran Services Ltd and Happy Energy Solutions Limited.

The scheme comes through the work of the Melcombe Regis Board, a multi-agency public services board set up to tackle inequalities across Melcombe Regis.

Matt Prosser, Chief Executive of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and Chairman of the Melcombe Regis Board, said: “We’re extremely pleased to receive funding from the Warm Homes Fund.

"Improving the standard and management of homes in Melcombe Regis is a key focus of the board. As such, we will look to ensure that this scheme works with all other opportunities to improve issues within housing in Melcombe Regis.”