News release from 20/07/2020

Council supports sports venues and independent pubs in post-lockdown recovery

Council supports sports venues and independent pubs in post-lockdown recovery

Community-led sports centres and independent pubs in South Cambridgeshire are eligible for £10,000 in non-repayable grants from the District Council, to help them and their local communities recover from lockdown.

The Council has expanded the Government's discretionary grants scheme to enable more small businesses to benefit from remaining funds of over £500,000 and help sports centres deliver services that nurture the wellbeing of local communities after they reopen their doors from Saturday 25 July.

Gym enthusiast using gym equipment

It is also keen to support local independent pubs in welcoming back customers and securing jobs for their staff.

Eligible centres and pubs will each receive £10,000, while a further £5,000 is available to those small businesses in shared offices or flexible workspaces that were awarded £2,500 in the scheme’s first funding round.

This takes the Council’s total COVID-19 funding support for hundreds of small businesses across the district to more than £24 million.

Anyone who thinks their small business qualifies for the latest Government Discretionary Grant Funding is invited to apply to the District Council before midnight on Monday 3 August. A dedicated team will assess applications and notify businesses of the outcome as swiftly as possible.

Eligible categories include:

  • Sports centres that provide sporting facilities wholly or mainly to the general public, with a rateable value of more than £51,000;
  • Independent pubs with a rateable value of more than £51,000 that are not owned as part of a chain or group. This does not include pubs with lower rateable values as they were eligible for grants under the Government’s Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund; and
  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces with a minimum rent of £250 per month, which were awarded £2,500 in the first funding round.

Among the qualifying criteria, businesses must have been trading on 11 March 2020, have a turnover of no more than £10.2 million and employ fewer than 50 people.

The fund is aimed at supporting small businesses who have been impacted by the effects of the pandemic, are struggling to survive, and who are not eligible for existing Government support schemes – so firms that have already benefitted from the Government’s Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund do not qualify.

This second funding round takes the Council’s discretionary grants support to £1.25 million – more than half has already been awarded to small businesses, including local charities.

Meanwhile, the Council has paid out more than £23 million to almost 2,000 businesses under a separate Small Business Grant Fund since lockdown. It is appealing to a further 150 businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief, which qualify for this funding, to apply for the grant as soon as possible.

Peter McDonald

Cllr Peter McDonald, Lead Cabinet Member for Business Recovery and Skills (pictured above), said: “The Council’s priority is to help local businesses and communities recover from lockdown and for more people to benefit from enjoying a degree of social freedom once more.

“Enabling people to exercise and access sports facilities in their local community is a key part of nurturing their physical and mental wellbeing, and after a sustained period of lockdown, this couldn’t be more important.

“We want to support community-led sports centres in providing these essential facilities once more so that local people can take advantage of all the opportunities they offer.”

He added: “We also recognise the challenges local independent pubs at the heart of our communities have faced in reopening their doors after more than three months. It takes enormous effort and we’re keen to help these businesses to safely welcome their customers back, retain their staff and recover.”

Apply for the Discretionary Grant Fund or find out more about the scheme. 

Apply for the existing Small Business Grant Fund