Cost of Living: 'Warm hubs' to be created to help those facing extreme fuel poverty this winter

During her announcement, Jane Hutt MS said: "It is important that the approach to the delivery of Warm Hubs is joined up and meets local needs." Credit: ITV Wales/PA

Organisations including local authorities, community councils, faith groups and sports clubs are setting up, or looking to set up, 'Warm Hubs' within local communities to help those struggling with the cost of living.  

'Warm hubs' are intended as a local as places within local communities where people can find a safe, accessible and warm environment during the day to help reduce the cost of heating their own homes and to help those facing extreme fuel poverty this winter.

Last month, the Welsh government announced an initial £1m of funding to support Warm Hubs. The Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, has now outlined how that funding will be distributed and what it will be used for, saying: "They should be open and inclusive and take into account local and cultural needs."

What 'Warm Hubs' might offer:

  • Refreshments and snacks (as a minimum) but may extend to a more substantive meal where relevant or possible.

  • Advice and support services to those who attend, this can be for example advice and support on financial matters, health and well-being or digital accessibility.

  • Activities such as exercise, or arts and cultural activity (subject to location and availability).

During her announcement, Jane Hutt MS explained much of the expertise on where Warm Hubs should be placed, and what should be provided within Warm Hubs, rests within local communities. 

She said: "Local authorities working in partnership with the public sector, voluntary sector and community partners will be best placed to gauge and understand local needs, existing provision and to design and deliver local solutions.

"Funding for Warm Hubs will therefore be distributed via local authorities in Wales. Funding will be distributed in line with local authority agreed existing formula. As part of the funding local authorities will be required to engage with their local partners, including County Voluntary Councils (CVC’s), in the development of Warm Hubs and in the provision / distribution of funding at a local community level to local community groups wishing to operate / establish a Warm Hub.

"It may be more appropriate in some places for organisations and volunteers to work with existing Warm Hubs rather than establish additional ones.

"For more information on the local arrangements for Warm Hubs and local funding, I would encourage people to contact their local authority to register their interest."