Bideford councillors have held their first virtual meeting to award the first grants from the £24,000 Covid 19 Community Fund.

Bideford Town Council (BTC) members used video conferencing platform Zoom for the first time at an extraordinary meeting to decide on amounts to be given to those working in the community during the fight against the pandemic.

Torridge District Council provided funding to towns and parishes throughout the area for it to be used specifically for those organisations that have pulled out all the stops to support and assist the vulnerable and in need.

BTC received £9,432 and to added £10,000 of its own money from an underspend from the financial year 2019/20, with another £4,550 from funds that had been set aside for civic events that will not now go ahead.

So far £6,500 of the £24,000 has been allocated, including to TTVS and Northern Devon Foodbank, which mayor Peter Christie has described as ‘pivotal’ in the community support effort.

He said: “It was a lengthy meeting – and a first for us – but we are pleased we have made the right decisions and will keep reviewing the situation, going forward.

“The groups and organisations chosen for funding have been outstanding in their support for the Bideford community, we are pleased to have been able to help.”

The town council has said it will continue to support community organisations and volunteer responses, both financially and with council staff assistance.