HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds has been given to Bournemouth council to help reduce the number of rough sleepers in the town.

The government has allocated £349,250 to Bournemouth from a £34m fund shared between 83 councils in England following its pledge to end rough sleeping by 2027.

The money comes on top of £387,500 which was announced in June to increase the capacity of the council’s services run with homelessness charity St Mungo’s.

Announced by housing secretary James Brokenshire earlier this week, the Rough Sleeping Initiative Fund will be distributed to local authorities over the next two years and follows the publication of the government’s Rough Sleeping Strategy last month.

Mr Brokenshire, said: “Our Rough Sleeping Strategy set out the blueprint to end rough sleeping by 2027.

“Now we are vigorously taking the steps to make that happen.

“The funding through our Rough Sleeping Initiative is already making a real difference in helping support those off the streets and into services and accommodation this year.

“But there is still work to do and that’s why we are supporting these areas with further funding to ensure progress continues to be made and vulnerable people are supported into services and accommodation.”

Like the first grant, the money awarded to Bournemouth council will be used to increase capacity within its rough sleeper team run by St Mungo’s as well as helping to continue the funding of a psychological specialist.

Cllr Robert Lawton, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a second round of funding to support the valuable work taking place to reduce the number of rough sleepers in the town.

“The funding will help us to further build on what we already have in place to prevent rough sleeping in Bournemouth.

“The funds will enable us to continue to provide valuable additional capacity for our established rough sleeper team delivered by St Mungo’s, increase capacity in our Housing First project which provides intense support for the most complex rough sleepers in independent accommodation.

“We will be able to continue to fund an additional psychological specialist (provided by Dorset Healthcare University NHS Trust) to work with individuals with unmet needs and provide additional resources and packages of support to help rough sleepers into the private rented sector.”

The funding is subject to the outcomes of work the council is already carrying out to support rough sleepers.