Malvern's bid to become a more environmentally-friendly town is getting a helping hand from a recycling grant.

Malvern Hills District Council is to get £12,806 from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as part of a scheme to help local authorities recycle rubbish in 2004/5.

The department will be making available £20 million in total, a proportion of which will be payable to local authorities. Malvern will receive a portion of the £134,402 set aside for Worcestershire County Council.

Worcestershire County Council's spokesman for recycling. Carol Trehearn said it was fantastic news.

"The money will definitely ease the pressure on councils who are implementing recycling schemes," she said.

"Malvern Hills District Council will have incurred a great deal of pressure on resources in launching the kerb-side recycling scheme, so this money will be a great help."

Neighbouring counties will also benefit from the grants scheme, Herefordshire will receive £53,821, and Gloucestershire is due to benefit from £97,603.

Local authorities are due to receive the money in April.

MHDC this week started a trial of a kerbside recycling scheme in selected areas of the district.

The trial will go district-wide in the spring.