Couple now know that it's Warm Up North

Belford couple Frances and Maurice Octon are amongst hundreds of residents in the North East who have been given a cosy boost for winter thanks to funding from the Central Heating Fund.

Monday, 3rd October 2016, 4:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 1:45 pm
Maurice and Frances Octon

Northumberland County Council, as part of the Warm Up North partnership, was awarded £6.5m from central government in September 2015 to install central heating systems into homes for free.

Targeted at privately owned or rented households without central heating systems, around 700 homes have already benefitted from the scheme.

More residents in the region are now being encouraged to come forward and apply for the scheme ahead of winter.

Husband and wife, Mr and Mrs Octon successfully applied for the scheme and have had an oil boiler installed as well as radiators in each room of their bungalow at no cost.

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For years the couple had been using a coal fire and costly electric night storage heaters to try to keep their home warm.

After reading about the scheme in the local paper, they decided to apply for funding and after a short assessment by British Gas, work soon started to make their home more energy efficient.

Mrs Octon said: “The new heating system is absolutely marvellous and we’re delighted with the difference it has made to our home. The house used to get very cold and a bit damp during winter and it would often affect Maurice’s health but with the new heating system we’re no longer worried about the winter months.”

The fund is the latest energy-saving initiative to be rolled out by the Council as part of the Warm Up North scheme, which includes eight other local authorities in the North East and British Gas.

Councillor Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth with Northumberland County Council, said: “I’m delighted that families like Mr and Mrs Octon have managed to reap the benefits of the Central Heating Fund.

“We want to make sure that the grant money will make a positive difference in the homes that need it most and I’m delighted to see that the scheme is already helping local families.

“Fuel poverty is a serious problem, particularly in rural areas like Northumberland but by offering this support to residents we are able to improve the energy efficiency of Northumberland homes as well as our residents’ general health and wellbeing.”

Residents are still able to apply for the central heating fund but they must meet the eligibility criteria.

For further information, visit or call 0800 294 8073.