Dorset is to receive more than £22 million to tackle the impact of coronavirus.

The financial boost from the Government is part of a total £3.2 billion national pot that will help councils deal with the impact of the pandemic and continue to deliver frontline services, support communities and meet new pressures.

This could include, getting rough sleepers off the streets, supporting clinically vulnerable people and providing assistance for the public health workforce.

The funding, the first part of which was allocated last month, is allocated to different areas based on population and the latest assessment on the challenges they are facing. It is not ringfenced, allowing councils to decide how to spend the money themselves.

The lion's share of the county's funding goes to Dorset Council – £10.6m in the first tranche of funding in March and £10.4m in the latest, second tranche just announced – a total of £21,076,778.

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Assets, said: “We are pleased to receive the latest round of funding from Government. Dorset Council has been allocated almost the same amount as in the first round in March, so we are receiving money from Government about as fast as we are spending it on the local COVID-19 response.

"Our spending includes additional PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff, discharging people from hospital to free up beds and providing additional care packages, and supporting vulnerable people who are shielding at home.

"The Government's extension of the lockdown period means we will not be back to normal in the immediate future so we will need another round of funding in May if we are to sustain our finances.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service meanwhile will get a total of £1,305,850, with the majority of this funding (£1.12m) paid this month.

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “It is most helpful to receive some additional Government grant for the current year. It will help to support us to maintain our prevention, protection, resilience and emergency response arrangements, all of which require increased levels of personal protective equipment, as well as associated cleaning and decontamination procedures. It will also help to support some of the additional community activities that we are involved in across our service area, as we work together with our partners during these unprecedented times.”

Neighbouring Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council gets a total of £22,006,900.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Councils are playing a central role in our national fight against coronavirus and the government continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with them at this challenging time."

This funding is part of comprehensive package of support that has also included allowing councils to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government and brought forward £850 million in social care grants paid to councils from this month.