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Update for businesses affected by Covid-19

Visit England have shared a round-up of the latest updates, including new guidance for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors to check their eligibility for Restart Grants, updated guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for local authorities and a call for views on the independent review of Destination Management Organisations. Find out if your business is eligible for a coronavirus Restart Grant

The Restart Grant scheme supports eligible businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from your local council.


Your business may be eligible if it:

  • Is based in England

  • Is rate-paying

  • Is in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors

  • Was trading on 1 April 2020

What you get

Local councils will use their discretion to determine whether businesses meet the eligibility criteria for this grant scheme. Eligible businesses will be paid:

  • A one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors

  • A one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector

Updated guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant

The guidance on the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for local authorities in England has been updated to include the £425m top-up from 1 April 2021 announced at the Budget. The ARG funding scheme aims to support businesses severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions. Funding was first made available in Financial Year 2020-2021 and can be used across Financial Years 20/21 and 21/22. However, Local Authorities are encouraged to distribute funding to businesses who require support as soon as possible. Read the full document here.

The Tourism Minister has highlighted that these grants are aimed at businesses that have not been eligible for other grants, please see further details below.

During a Parliament debate on Golf Tourism on 27 January, the Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston provided a comment that may be useful to include to support applications for grant schemes through local authorities. The minutes from the debate are available here, (see column 503) and a direct quote from the Tourism Minister is below:

‘I have received a number of reports that some tourism-related businesses, which might not be ratepayers and are not explicitly mentioned in the guidance on these grant schemes, are being deemed ineligible by some local authorities. To be clear to those local authorities and those businesses, although the ultimate decision is at the local authority’s discretion, the fund can, and in my opinion certainly should, be used to provide grants to tour operators, coach operators, school travel companies, English language schools, event organisers and similar businesses, all of which serve as vital facilitators to the tourism industry even if they do not sell to consumers directly on a specific premise. I therefore encourage and expect local authorities to be sympathetic to applications from those businesses and others that have been impacted by covid-19 restrictions but are ineligible for the other grant schemes.’

Submit your views on the independent review of Destination Management Organisations

The review of England’s Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) is now open for responses and will close at 11.45pm on 28 April 2021. The independent review will assess how DMOs across England are funded and structured, and how they perform their roles, in order to establish whether there may be a more efficient and effective model for supporting English tourism at the regional level. Those interested in submitting should complete this online survey. More information on the review is available here. Terms of reference for the Events Research Programme have been published

The Government has published the terms of reference for the Events Research Programme, which was committed to in the roadmap. The Events Research Programme will oversee a range of pilot events in Spring/Summer to build evidence on the risks associated with Covid-19 transmission routes, the characteristics of events and surrounding activities, and the extent to which mitigation measures can effectively address these risks. The evidence from these pilot events will be used to inform the government's decision around Step 4 of the roadmap and will shape government policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events up and down England. Read more information on timings and the scope of the programme.

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