The re-run of Winter Connections in Renfrewshire has been a “great success” after more than £80,000 was handed out to community projects.

The warm spaces initiative – a network of events for people to connect with others in their area – is proving “very popular” in its second year, a senior council officer has said.

The programme allows groups and organisations to bid for up to £2000 to provide free activities, which are inclusive, welcoming and offer warm drinks, snacks or food.

At the end of December, 43 applications for funding had been approved by Renfrewshire Council. Officers are also working with groups in areas where there are gaps to maximise the use of resources.

Laura McIntyre, head of policy and partnerships, a recent Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee: “The Winter Connections programme has continued to be a great success in terms of the initial feedback we’ve had and also from the applications we’ve had from groups and organisations across Renfrewshire in terms of funding.

“We’ve had over £80,000 of funding allocated to 43 projects and, over and above that, there’s also the programme of activities that’s been delivered by our partners in OneRen.

“We’ll bring back a report to the sub-committee on the programme over this winter, as we did last year, to see how we can improve things going forward, but also just to learn from the groups and organisations about how things went over the winter period.

“But there’s still a wee bit of time left as we know in terms of the cold, wet, damp and windy weather … so there’s still a lot of delivery left to go in terms of this programme.

“It’s something that seems to be very popular across communities in Renfrewshire.”

In December, £6000 was allocated to OneRen, the trust responsible for leisure, culture and sport in Renfrewshire, to extend the delivery of Winter Connections activities at its libraries.

It also allowed them to offer hot drinks and soup to those attending, as well as snacks at certain children’s activities.