CASH to improve the energy efficiency of homes will drive down fuel poverty and help create jobs, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess has said.

Ms Burgess spoke out as almost £9 million was allocated to some of Scotland's councils as part of the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (Heeps) scheme.

The money comes on top of £46m already shared between all 32 local authorities.

The scheme, targeted at those in fuel poverty, aims to increase energy efficiency by funding improvements such as solid wall, cavity wall and loft insulation.

Councils were invited to apply for further funding under the initiative, with North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Fife, Falkirk, Midlothian, West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Clackmannanshire, Glasgow and Perth and Kinross all receiving a share.

The Housing Minister said: "The Scottish Government is determined to help householders stay warm and reduce their energy bills."