PEOPLE will be able to stay warm this winter after more than 40 'warm banks' have opened across Somerset. 

The free spaces will also help residents use the venues to eat and use WiFi in some places. 

In partnership with local organisations and community groups, North Somerset Council has worked to open libraries, churches and community centres for use this winter. 

As the cost-of-living squeeze bites into next year, more than one million people are widely expected dip into poverty. 

A funding package of £25,000 has been provided by the council to help set up the venues and £2,500 in match funding has also been provided by Alliance Homes, Bristol Water and Wessex Water among others. 

The council's deputy leader, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “These are welcoming places for you to come, grab a cup of tea, a bit of company and most importantly keep warm this winter.

"No one should go cold at any time, and it is disappointing that these schemes are even needed at all. However, North Somerset residents should know that support is here, and we really are in this together to help each other."

To help find your nearest 'warm bank' people can use an interactive map is available at