Councils receive Omicron grant cash

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Grants provided: local authorities will be able to distribute the funding now it has been received (image: Getty/Hiroshi Watanabe)
Grants provided: local authorities will be able to distribute the funding now it has been received (image: Getty/Hiroshi Watanabe)

Related tags Legislation Government ukhospitality Finance

Local authorities will receive the funding for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants from today (Friday 7 January), the Government has announced.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is urging eligible businesses, including pubs, to apply with their local council.

The Morning Advertiser ​understands it is expected there will be a slight delay between councils receiving the funding and it being distributed but local authorities and BEIS are working closely in a bid to ensure it gets out urgently.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has also issued an open letter, calling on council leaders to aid protecting jobs and livelihoods.

Grant details

He added: “I urge businesses to come forward, engage with their local council and tap into these cash grants, which will help to cover costs and protect jobs as we double down on our efforts to get boosted and defeat this virus.”

Pubs have been encouraged to apply to their local council for the grant funding, which will be administered over the coming weeks, BEIS said.

Grants are per premises and based on rateable value of each venue. This has been worked out in three bands, which are:

  • For pubs with a rateable value of £0 to £15,000, they are eligible for a grant of £2,667.
  • Pubs with a rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000, they can claim a £4,000 grant.
  • Those with a rateable value of more than £51,000, the full grant amount of £6,000 is available.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We know the Omicron variant has hit out hospitality and leisure businesses – which is why, as we have throughout the pandemic, we stepped into help.

“From today, local councils will be able to distribute this £1bn package of support to the hundreds of thousands of pubs, restaurants and theatres in need – protecting the millions they employ.”

Trade reaction

The announcement of the grants, which the Chancellor revealed just before Christmas (Tuesday 21 December) was met with mixed views from trade bodies.

UKHospitality called it a “generous package”​​ while the Night-Time Industries Association said it was “far too little and borders on the insulting”.

Operators also reacted to the announcement, with one likening it to “sticking an Elasoplast over a gaping wound”, while another called the grant “a twinkle of sunshine in a very bleak outlook”.

Other businesses impacted by Omicron such as those that supply pubs will also be able to apply for funding as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant, which local authorities will have the discretion to allocate to businesses most in need.

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