COUNCILS across Cumbria are set to receive a £66 million extension to the Household Support Fund.

Allocated to local councils across the north west today, April 1, the sum boosts the region's total funding to £396.4 million since the Fund's launch.

Provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), the financial aid assists individuals with essential costs like energy bills and food.

The increase forms part of the largest cost of living support package in Europe, amounting to £2.5 billion.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said: “We’ve protected vulnerable people from cost of living pressures with the biggest support package in Europe, preventing 1.3 million people falling into poverty.

“Extending the Household Support Fund means people in the North West can access help with essentials, as we grow the economy by making work pay - cutting taxes by £900 for the average worker, raising the National Living Wage after seven successive months of real wage growth, and driving down inflation.”