AS temperatures dropped on Friday night, a new emergency homeless shelter opened its doors for the first time in Kidderminster - but it was a quiet first night for the facility.

Wyre Forest District Council confirmed it had no visitors at the new facility, based at The Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist in Bewdley Road, on opening night.

Kidderminster's is one of three new emergency shelters for rough sleepers in Worcestershire - bringing the total number in the county up to five - which will open only when the temperature is predicted to fall below zero, in line with Worcestershire's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

Previously, people had to travel outside of the Wyre Forest district to access an emergency shelter.

The shelters were made possible by a £240,000 rise in funding to prevent single people or childless couples who are at risk of homelessness.

Worcestershire councils awarded the contract to Caring for Communities and People earlier this year and the service has been commissioned by the county council and district councils across the county.

Speaking in August, Wyre Forest District Council's cabinet member for housing, health and wellbeing, Councillor Nicky Martin, said: "The main focus of this new service is on early intervention and preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place.

"The new emergency shelter in Kidderminster will be a very welcome addition to the other services we provide in Wyre Forest to people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

"This will mean there will be a safe and warm place to stay within Wyre Forest during the most severe weather.”