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More than half of councils in England and Wales are supporting the roll out of warm places where people can shelter from this cold this winter if they can’t afford to put the heating on, analysis by Save the Children has found.  

Out of 355 councils in England and Wales, 194 are directly involved in or supporting local groups to open warm spaces as the cost of living crisis has plunged families into financial turmoil.  

Our research found 143 councils across both nations are working to set up their own warm bank initiatives (121 in England and all 22 in Wales funded by the Welsh Government), while a further 51 English councils are working with voluntary and community organisations to signpost and coordinate the provision of warm spaces in their areas.  

Warm spaces are being held in libraries and community centres, some council-owned, but others include theatres, art galleries, museums, children’s centres, churches and other religious buildings. Many have extended their opening hours in the evenings and weekends, and some are providing free hot drinks. One council leisure centre is offering hot showers for £1 if people cannot afford to run hot water at home.  

Overall, the total number of warm banks is likely to run into the thousands.   

Some councils are supporting by providing grants from £500 up to £5,000 to voluntary and community organisations, including charities and religious groups, to set up warm spaces. The Welsh Government has provided £1million of funding to the nation’s 22 local authorities to set up warm spaces. 

Save the Children has compiled the information from councils across England and Wales so that families can find out what support is available in their area.  

Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children UK, said: "What an extraordinary sign of the times we are in that communities and councils are setting up warm spaces because so many people won’t be able to heat their homes this winter.    

“We are extremely worried about the circumstances the country's poorest children will be living in as the weather turns colder if councils and charities are already anticipating this level of need.  Being unable to afford a warm home will put the health of children at risk, which is an unacceptable human cost with a likely knock on effect to health budgets.     

“The scale of preparations under way to provide warm spaces this winter shows how communities and councils are doing their best to help people through these tough times.  And we know that parents will try everything they can to ensure their children are comfortable and will make major sacrifices.  Now we need the government to match this commitment, step up and do their job.     

“It is totally unacceptable that in modern Britain we need a vast network of warm banks to get us through the winter.  We need a permanent solution to this energy crisis.  As a starting point, the UK Government needs to reaffirm its commitment to increasing benefits in line with inflation at the Budget and scrap the benefits cap to put more money in people's pockets. Ten pounds extra per child per week into the child element of Universal Credit could also give families a vital boost to their income."   




- Save the Children compiled the warm spaces information by contacting council press offices where contact details were supplied and when that was not possible, by gathering publicly available information on council websites. Not all councils were contactable, not all responded, and some had no information on their websites.  

- Nine Welsh councils contacted via their press offices responded. The Welsh government has provided funding for warm banks for Wales’ 22 local authorities, which have been included in our tally.  

- Where councils have information readily available online, Save the Children has linked to it in the below A-Z.  Other areas in England and Wales have warm space initiatives that are not council run or supported, and therefore not listed below. 


For further enquiries, please contact Rhian Lubin 


A-Z of warm spaces in England



Adur – Working with Worthing Borough Council to find partners on warm spaces 

Arun – In discussions  

Ashfield – Signposting residents to local church warm spaces 


Barnet – Libraries open as part of the council’s Warm Spaces scheme

Barnsley – Libraries, six museum sites and family centres and community buildings

Barrow-in-Furness – Cumbria County Council is running a Warm Spots scheme

Bedford – Libraries and working with local orgs to develop a Warm Spaces network  

Birmingham –  Directory of Welcome Warm Spaces including churches and leisure centres

Blackpool – Planning to fund warm spaces and community spaces 

Bolton  - Working on setting up a network of warm spaces, information to follow soon

Boston – Community centres, churches and other partners to form warm spaces network   

Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole – Leisure centres, libraries and community centres

Bracknell Forest – Libraries and community hub opening soon as warm spaces

Bradford – Libraries, museums and giving grants to local orgs to become a warm space

Braintree – Working with local partners to identify potential warm spaces 

Breckland – Information coming soon 

Brent – Libraries

Brentwood – Essex County Council libraries and signposting to local churches 

Brighton & Hove – Details coming soon

Bristol – Network of Welcoming Spaces which are mix of council-run and community orgs

Bromley – Libraries  

Buckinghamshire - Libraries

Burnley – Working with Burnley Together to create warm spaces network


Camden – Libraries and community centres

Cannock Chase – Created directory of warm hubs across the district

Central Bedfordshire - Libraries

Cheltenham – Community centres and churches  

Cherwell – Working with local orgs to provide a warm space

Cheshire East – Providing grants for Warm PlaCEs programme  

Chesterfield – Mapping churches and community centres

Chichester – Details coming soon  

Chorley – Details coming soon 

Colchester – Working with local orgs to identify warm spaces

Copeland – Warm Wellness Hub with local orgs and Cumbria County Council  

Cornwall – Signposting residents to volunteer-run network

Coventry – Libraries and family hubs  

Cumbria – Warm spots directory of libraries, churches and village halls


Doncaster – Aware of voluntary orgs opening buildings as warm spaces 


East Cambridgeshire – Network of Warm Hubs in partnership with community orgs

East Lindsey – Libraries, village halls & churches

East Suffolk – Provides some funding to Warm Room locations run by volunteers 

Eastbourne - Working with voluntary sector partners to support a network  

Essex – £1,000 grants in Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund


Folkestone & Hythe – Provides some funding to some community centres & hubs 

Forest of Dean - Supporting village halls and pubic venues to register as warm spaces


Gateshead – Mix of council-owned venues and others run by community partners  

Gedling – Council-owned theatres & community partner venues

Gloucester – Plans in development 

Gloucestershire - Libraries

Gravesham – Funding orgs to create warm spaces in community buildings  

Great Yarmouth – Working with Norfolk County Council, offering libraries as warm spaces 

Greenwich – Funding to create warm spaces in community buildings across the borough 


Hackney – Plans in development 

Halton – Libraries and signposting to other community spaces

Hammersmith & Fulham – Plans in development 

Hampshire - Libraries

Harborough – In discussions 

Haringey – Libraries and museums part of Haringey Warm Welcome 

Harlow - Harlow Playhouse Theatre & working with partners on others 

Harrogate – Supporting a local org with their plans

Harrow – Libraries & leisure sites and also working with partner Help Harrow  

Havant – Libraries  

Herefordshire – Libraries & local orgs providing warm spaces

Hertfordshire – Directory of libraries and family centres  

Hull – Libraries and council-supported venues  

Hounslow – Libraries open & providing small grants to local orgs 

Huntingdonshire – Libraries, leisure centres & signposting to churches  


Ipswich – Leisure centres and council-owned venues

Isle of Wight – Libraries & signposting to other local chuches and orgs

Islington – Working with partners to develop warm network


Kensington & Chelsea – Plans in development 

King’s Lynn & West Norfolk – Working with Norfolk County Council and provided funding  

Kingston upon Thames – Libraries & signposting to other local warm spaces

Kirklees - Libraries

Knowsley – Libraries & encouraging children and community centres to extend opening hours 


Lambeth – Libraries & working with local partners

Lancashire – Libraries 

Lancaster – Libraries & community centres  

Leeds – Mapping council libraries, community centres and local partner venues

Leicester – Libraries  

Lewisham – Libraries & working with partner Lewisham Local to facilitate more venues 

Lichfield – Warm room opened in the District Council house  

Liverpool – In discussions 


Malvern Hills – Libraries, working with Worcestershire County Council & partners

Manchester – Libraries  

Mansfield – Museum, library and working with local orgs as part of Warm Rooms Scheme

Medway – Libraries & community hubs  

Merton – Libraries 

Mid Suffolk - Winter Warmth Support Fund for grassroots groups  

Middlesbrough - Community hubs and the Live Well Centre 

Mole Valley – Working with the County Council & plans coming soon 


New Forest – Grants available for communities to create spaces

Newcastle-upon-Tyne – Running ‘winter wellbeing hubs’

Newham – Running 16 ‘warm havens’

Norfolk – 47 council run libraries operating as Warm Spaces

North East Derbyshire - See Derbyshire County Council  

North East Lincolnshire – In discussions 

North Hertfordshire – Community run organisations  

North Norfolk – Supporting community organisations to set up if needed 

North Northamptonshire – Will support a network of warm spaces 

North Somerset – 30 Public Living Rooms set up

North Tyneside – Spaces run by volunteers + 11 libraries 

North West Leicestershire – Support at district council level 

North Yorkshire – Some community centres and libraries 

Northumberland – Supporting a network of warm spaces

Norfolk – Provided money to community hotspots fund 

Nottingham - People welcome to spend time in libraries and leisure centres 


Oldham – Libraries  

Oxford – Mix of council owned and community spaces 

Oxfordshire – Libraries and grants scheme for community venues to open at specific times 


Pendle – Operating warm banks in libraries 

Plymouth – Warm Welcoming Spaces network with map

Portsmouth – Council and HIVE Portsmouth created Warm Spaces  

Preston – Libraries running as Warm and Welcoming Spaces


Redcar and Cleveland – Libraries and community hubs  

Reigate and Banstead – Locations listed on Surrey County Council

Ribble Valley – Some organised by community and voluntary organisations 

Richmond-upon-Thames – Libraries and community centres

Rochdale – Libraries and community centres

Rochford – See Essex 

Rossendale – See Lancashire 

Rother – See East Sussex  

Rotherham – Plans for warm spaces in libraries, leisure and community centres 

Rushcliffe – Local pub 

Rutland - Libraries

Ryedale – Libraries and community centres  

Salford – Libraries and health centres open but not using phrase warm hub 

Sandwell – Libraries and community centres

Scarborough – Libraries and ‘Warm Welcome’ spaces  

Sedgemoor – Grants through Warm Somerset Spaces Fund and community run 

Sefton – Library and community centres

Selby – Community and voluntary – not council run 

Sevenoaks – commnuity centres and churches

Sheffield – Libraries and family centres 

Shropshire – 50 community spaces and council buildings

Solihull – Libraries and community centres

Somerset – 80 venues community run, some with council funding 

Somerset and West Taunton – See Somerset 

South Cambridgeshire – Council and NHS funded

South Derbyshire – See Derbyshire County Council 

South Gloucestershire – Libraries and community buildings 

South Holland – Church and local business

South Lakeland – See Cumbria County Council 

South Norfolk – Libraries, providing grants 

South Oxfordshire – Libraries 

South Somerset – See Somerset 

Staffordshire – Libraries and churches 

Southampton – Library and family hubs

Southend – Libraries, shopping centres 

Spelthorne – Community centres  

St Albans –  Six run with voluntary organisations 

St Helens – Council run with voluntary organisations using libraries

Stafford – Around 25, council with Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust  

Stockton-on-Tees – Around 50, with partner organisations

Stoke – Libraries  

Sunderland – Around 50 with community and voluntary partners 

Surrey Heath – Grants available to set up warm banks 

Sutton – Libraries 

Swale – Exploring warm banks as an option 


Tameside – Libraries and warm hubs

Telford & Wrekin – Funding for local groups and parish councils to open spaces 

Tendering – Supporting partners with their plans 

Test Valley – Grants for local orgs to establish warm spaces 

Tewkesbury – Providing grants for warm spaces via Gloucestershire County Council

Thanet – Children’s library at the Turner Contemporary in Margate 

Three Rivers – With Herts County Council, libraries, family centres and community spaces 

Torbay – Mapping libraries and community spaces

Trafford – Part of the Trafford Living Rooms initiative  


Walsall – In discussions 

Waltham Forest - Winter Spaces Network of council and community venues 

Wandsworth - Libraries

Warrington – Plans in development 

Warwick – Setting up local authority-run warm rooms and working with local partners 

Warwickshire – Network out warm hubs agreed and roll out happening soon

Waverley – Working with Surrey County Council and local groups to map spaces 

West Northamptonshire – Providing grants & working with local councils and groups  

Westminster – Libraries and signposting to museums & galleries

Wigan - Welcoming spaces in our libraries, galleries, museums

Wiltshire – Will be mapping warm spaces  

Winchester – Plans in discussion 

Windsor and Maidenhead – Mapping libraries and community spaces

Wokingham – Libraries and finalising network within the community

Worcestershire - Libraries


A-Z of warm spaces in Wales



Blaenau Gwent – Welsh Gov funding  

Bridgend – Libraries and other community spaces  


Caerphilly – Finalising plans  

Carmarthenshire - Libraries  

Cardiff – Libraries and hubs  

Ceredigion – Providing some funding to community groups to run warm spaces  

Conwy – Libraries 


Denbighshire – Welsh Gov funding  


Flintshire - Community centres in the Council’s sheltered housing schemes and hubs  


Gwynedd – Libraries, hubs and promoting warm spaces of local orgs


Isle of Anglesey – See Gwynedd   


Merthyr Tydfil – Welsh gov funding  

Monmouthshire – Welsh gov funding  


Neath Port Talbot – Welsh gov funding  

Newport – Welsh gov funding, plans being finalised  



Powys – Creating a network of warm spaces


Swansea – Warm hubs  


Rhondda – Welsh gov funding, in discussions  


Vale of Glamorgan – Warm Welcome scheme  


Torfaen – Libraries as part of Warm Welcome scheme  


Wrexham - Libraries