UP to 50,000 households and businesses across the North-East are set to benefit from a first-of-its-kind £200m scheme aimed at reducing energy bills and tackling fuel poverty.

Announced today (Thursday, July 25), Warm Up North is also expected to create around 500 jobs including in the supply chain, plus 75 on the scheme itself.

It will start in September, making the North-East the first region in the country to have entered into such a multi-area partnership.

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Warm Up North covers eight councils: Darlington, Durham, Redcar and Cleveland, Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle and Northumberland; and is supported by the Association of North East Councils (Anec).

It will be delivered by British Gas.

Eligible residents and businesses could get free or discounted solid wall insulation, replacement double-glazed windows and composite doors, loft insulation or a new boiler.

Martin Walker, project director for the Warm Up North partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for residents in all eight of the participating council areas across the North-East.

“The partnership with British Gas that is now in place – the first of its kind, anywhere in the country – puts this region at the very forefront of domestic energy efficiency.

“This scheme will help tens of thousands of households with their energy bills, help thousands of people struggling with fuel poverty and create hundreds of jobs in the region.

“We are very impressed by the commitment shown by British Gas and now we can’t wait to get started.”

For more information, visit britishgas.co.uk