MORE than 100 homes are set to benefit from a free heating scheme.

Homes across the county, including 30 in the Hambleton district, will benefit from a £500,000 scheme which is being awarded to homeowners and private landlords that are currently using inefficient heaters or open fires.

The scheme will pay for the installation of gas central heating systems, which are energy-efficient and circulate heat around homes quicker.

The conversion from traditional means of heating can run into hundreds of pounds.

It's part of the county's Warm Homes Fund, which has been set up by North Yorkshire County Council and district councils in Hambleton, Ryedale and Scarborough.

Paul Staines director of environment at Hambleton District Council said: "As people get older it can be difficult to use coal or wood fires and can be physically demanding – many of the towns and villages now have a mains gas supply which can be accessed through this scheme giving owners more choice over how to heat their homes."

Hambleton District Council have since dispatched letters to homes across the district, who could be eligible for the scheme. Residents in receipt of certain benefits, or have a household income below £21,000 and live in a property that is energy inefficient, are able to apply.