TENS of thousands of people in the region will be eligible for the government's cold weather payments after being hit by the Beast from the East.

After the Arctic storm brought snow and freezing temperatures to the UK in the first few days of March, around two million homes in the UK will receive a £25 payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions triggers payments to vulnerable people if the temperature is forecast to go below zero for seven consecutive nights.

And this is the first time this winter a cold weather payment has been triggered in Herefordshire.

The Met Office measures UK temperatures at 94 weather stations throughout the UK, and provides this data to the DWP, who say eligible households will be paid within 14 working days of a cold snap.

The weather station covering Herefordshire is near Credenhill.

The latest figures show households in the area covered by this station will receive a total of £1.3 million for the week ending March 2.

The government expects to pay out a total of £50 million to older people, disabled adults, and households who receive benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance.

The DWP calculates weekly estimates of the number of Cold Weather Payments based on Met Office weather reports and the demographics of the local area.

Government estimates show an anticipated 3.6 million cold weather payments for the winter so far, costing around £90.7 million.