A SHELTER to protect rough sleepers from severe weather will be run from a new location this winter.

Wagner Hall in West Street will be the main emergency shelter for the city.

Brighton and Hove City Council opens the shelter overnight when weather poses an extreme risk to people being outside.

Cllr Clare Moonan, responsible for rough sleeping, said: “Wagner Hall is an excellent venue and we’re very grateful to St Paul’s Church for working with us on arranging the shelter to be set up in such a useful location.”

The council says it now has a lower threshold for opening the shelter than in previous years, and has extra support from outreach workers.

“We know that the services we have introduced are making a huge difference in helping people,” said Cllr Moonan.

“Our regular updates from partners inform us that the numbers of people sleeping rough are reducing in our city.

“But there are still many vulnerable people who need support in moving away from rough sleeping and we are determined to do all we can to help.

“At the same time, we urge people not to come to Brighton and Hove without having accommodation arranged.

“There is a housing crisis. Our city has very little accommodation available and we are doing all we can to meet the needs of people living here who need a place to stay. ”

The council says the trigger for opening the shelter is lower than in most other towns and cities.

Brighton’s shelter will open when the Met Office forecasts that it will “feel like 0 degrees”, which takes into account the impact of wind chill.

The shelter can also open throughout the year to respond to the impact of severe rain, snow and wind, the council said.

And it opens whenever the Met Office issues an amber weather warning.

When it opens, outreach workers go out right away onto the streets to talk to people sleeping rough and advise them there is shelter available that night, the council said.

The shelter is open from 6.30pm to 8am, when day services begin to operate.

No one is turned away. Dogs are also allowed in the shelter. If Wagner Hall becomes full, other venues can be opened.