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Covid-19 support grants closed to application


This page details the grants made available to businesses impacted by local and national restrictions due to Covid-19 that are no longer open to new applications.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG)

Grant support for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England who were liable for business rates, occupying and trading as at 30 December 2021.

On 21 December 2021, the Government announced the introduction of grant support for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England who were liable for business rates, occupying and trading as at 30 December 2021. 

Eligible businesses were those offering in-person services in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

The one-off grant payments made to businesses with rateable properties (as at 30 December 2021) were as follows:

Rateable valuePayment amount
£15,000 or less£2,667
Over £15,000 and less than £51,000£4,000
£51,000 or more£6,000

Who was eligible?

The grants were available to eligible, trading hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses (in occupation) as defined in the government guidance and who were liable for business rates as at 30 December 2021 and continued to trade.

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business was defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. A business was eligible for a grant if they were:

  • offering in-person food and drink services to the general public
  • providing food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business should exclude food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) is a takeaway.

Eligible hospitality businesses under this scheme included:

  • food courts
  • public houses/pub restaurants
  • restaurants
  • roadside restaurants
  • wine bars
  • cafes

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business was defined as a business that provided opportunities, experiences, and facilities, for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out. A business was eligible for a grant if they: 

  • provided in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • relied on seasonal labour
  • assumed particular public safety responsibilities
  • operated with irregular hours through day, night and weekends

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business excluded all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators,and gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual or group basis.

Eligible leisure businesses under this scheme included:

  • casinos and gambling clubs
  • cinemas
  • museums and art galleries
  • stately homes and historic houses
  • theatres
  • zoos and safari parks
  • wedding venues
  • events venues
  • nightclubs and discotheques
  • arenas
  • concert halls
  • tourist attractions
  • theme parks
  • amusement arcades
  • soft play centres or areas
  • clubs and institutions
  • village halls and scout huts, cadet hits etc. 

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business was defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel or other purposes. A business was eligible for a grant if they:

  • provided accommodation for 'away from home' stays for work or leisure purposes
  • provided accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business excluded private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

Eligible accommodation businesses under this scheme were therefore:

  • caravan parks
  • caravan sites and pitches
  • chalet parks
  • coaching inns
  • country house hotels
  • guest houses
  • hostels
  • hotels
  • lodge
  • holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows
  • campsites
  • boarding houses
  • canal boats or other vessels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • catered holiday homes
  • holiday homes 

 Who was not eligible 

  • businesses that were not within the ratings system
  • businesses that were not within the prescribed sectors as defined above
  • businesses which had already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
  • businesses that were in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice had been made

The closing date for applications was 18 March 2022.

Omicron Additional Restriction Grants

As part of the announcement on 21 December, limited funding was made available by the government to fund a discretionary policy that supported businesses not eligible for the national Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) who did not have their own business rates account but still incurred fixed business-related costs, as well as some other sectors impacted such as wholesale suppliers in the supply chain to the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. 

We extended our local scheme to offer support to the following sectors:

  • hospitality, leisure and accommodation that do not have their own business rates account but still incur fixed business-related costs
  • wholesale suppliers to the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors
  • travel agents
  • kennels and catteries
  • coach firms

The one-off grant payments made to eligible businesses with rateable value or fixed business costs (as at 30 December 2021) were as follows:

Rateable value or annual fixed business costsPayment amount
£15,000 or less£1,600
Over £15,000 and less than £51,000£2,400
£51,000 or more£3,600

Who was eligible?

The grants were available to eligible, trading hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses (in occupation) as defined in the government guidance or businesses who support the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, travel agents, kennels and catteries or coach firms who were either liable for business rates or have fixed business costs as at 30 December 2021 and continued to trade.

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business was defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. A business was eligible for a grant if they are:

  • offered in-person food and drink services to the general public
  • provided food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality business excluded food kiosks and businesses whose main service (generating 50% or more of income) was a takeaway.

Eligible hospitality businesses under this scheme included:

  • food courts
  • public houses/pub restaurants
  • restaurants
  • roadside restaurants
  • wine bars
  • cafes

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business was defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences, and facilities, for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out. A business was eligible for a grant if they: 

  • provided in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • relied on seasonal labour
  • assumed particular public safety responsibilities
  • operated with irregular hours through day, night and weekends

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business excluded all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators,and gyms and sports businesses where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual or group basis.

Eligible leisure businesses under this scheme included:

  • casinos and gambling clubs
  • cinemas
  • museums and art galleries
  • stately homes and historic houses
  • theatres
  • zoos and safari parks
  • wedding venues
  • events venues
  • nightclubs and discotheques
  • arenas
  • concert halls
  • tourist attractions
  • theme parks
  • amusement arcades
  • soft play centres or areas
  • clubs and institutions
  • village halls and scout huts, cadet hits etc. 

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business was defined as a business whose main lodging provision was used for holiday, travel or other purposes. A business was eligible for a grant if they:

  • provided accommodation for 'away from home' stays for work or leisure purposes
  • provided accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business excluded private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres and beach huts.

Eligible accommodation businesses under this scheme therefore were:

  • caravan parks
  • caravan sites and pitches
  • chalet parks
  • coaching inns
  • country house hotels
  • guest houses
  • hostels
  • hotels
  • lodge
  • holiday apartments, cottages or bungalows
  • campsites
  • boarding houses
  • canal boats or other vessels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • catered holiday homes
  • holiday homes 

 Who was not eligible 

  • businesses who had already received payment under the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) scheme
  • businesses that were not within the prescribed sectors as defined above
  • businesses which had already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
  • businesses that were in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made
  • Hairdressers, personal care providers, gyms and sports clubs

The closing date for applications was 18 March 2022.

Covid-19 Digital Improvement Grant

The Durham Digital Improvement Grant was £920,000 of funding to support eligible County Durham visitor economy businesses to recover from the effects of Covid-19. It was designed to enable the use of and improvement in the application of digital and technological solutions to aid business recovery and support future resilience.

Eligible businesses were able to access grant funding up to 100% towards the cost of digital and technological solutions including:

  • digital consultancy projects
  • equipment that will help to improve business through the use of digital technology
  • using digital to expand reach eg to address recruitment issues and plug skills gaps
  • using digital for visitor information provision
  • website, app or software build
  • broadband infrastructure and installation

Minimum grant: £1,000

Maximum grant: £15,000

Eligibility for the Digital Improvement Grant was assessed on a case-by-case basis in line with Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and project eligibility guidance. Businesses had to be actively trading from an address in County Durham (Durham County Council area) and be classified as a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME - under 250 FTE employees and under €50m turnover) and could have only one approved application/claim per business. 

This scheme closed 18 February 2022.

National restart grant scheme 

The governments national restart grant scheme supported businesses in reopening safely when restrictions were lifted. This scheme opened on 1 April 2021.

If you have previously applied for a Covid-19 business grant you did not need to apply for a restart grant, we automatically used the information we held about your business to process your restart grant.  

On 18 May 2021 we widened the national scheme using ARG funding to support businesses who had previously been eligible for discretionary business support grants, but who were not eligible under the national scheme. If you previously applied and received February's discretionary LRSG funding you did not need to apply for a discretionary restart grant, payments were made automatically using the details we held.  

National and discretionary restart grant schemes

Eligibility criteria

To have been eligible for the grant, your business must  have been:

  • rate-paying or occupying a commercial shared space
  • in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, gym sectors or their supply chain.
  • trading on 1 April 2021

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, you would receive a single grant payment of:

Strand 1 - support for non essential retail premises and supply chain businesses

Rateable value (if rated) or annual rent (if unrated) of your property as at 1 April 2021Grant payment
Less than £15,000£2,667
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£4,000
More than £51,000£6,000

Strand 2 - support for businesses within hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises 

Rateable value (if rated) or annual rent (if unrated) of your property as at 1 April 2021Grant payment
Less than £15,000£8,000
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£12,000
More than £51,000£18,000

Businesses not covered by the scheme 

You could not get funding if your business:

  • is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register
  • has exceeded the permitted subsidy allowance

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding

Limited funding was made available by the government to fund a discretionary policy that supports businesses that do not have their own business rates account but still incur fixed business related costs, as well as some other sectors impacted such as wholesale suppliers in the supply chain to the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. 

We extended the local scheme to offer support to taxi drivers, registered childcare providers and childminders. Although most of the ARG grants closed on 31 March 2021 the following remained open to applications until 30 June 2021.

Support payments for mobile, home-based businesses and driving instructors

On 18 March we agreed to enhance our scheme to provide one off grant payments to support mobile and home-based businesses that operate in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors or its supply chain, or those providing in person or face to face services, which have been significantly impacted by the restrictions and have fixed monthly business costs. We are also now accepting applications from driving instructors who were previously added to the scheme.

Eligibility criteria - mobile and home based businesses

To have been eligible for the grant, your business must have been able to:

  • Demonstrate fixed business-related costs of at least £100 a month, these must be integral to the running of the business and not include personal salary costs or rent / mortgage costs
  • Evidence that the business provides the majority of the applicant's income (over 50%)
  • Demonstrate that the business is within the hospitality, accommodation or leisure (HAL) sector, is in the HAL supply chain or provides in-person, face to face services
  • Demonstrate that you have been severely impacted by local and/or national restrictions
  • Evidence you were trading on 18 September 2020 and
  • Demonstrate that you have not received or are eligible for support under the Local Restrictions Support Grant or the current Additional Restrictions Grant funding

Payment amount - mobile and home based businesses

If your business was eligible, you would have received:

 
Monthly fixed costsTotal payment
£100 - £200£500
£200 - £400£1,000
Over £400£2,500

Eligibility criteria - driving instructors

To be eligible for the grant, your business must have been be able to:

  • Demonstrated that you were a Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency Licensed driving instructor as at 18 September 2020, or a new licensee up to 31 December 2020
  • Resident in the Durham County Council area

Payment amount - driving instructors

If your business is eligible, you would receive a one-off payment of £1,000.

Businesses affected by national lockdown from 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021

Also called Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Businesses required to close 

The government had set out which businesses should close and those that could remain open during national lockdown. If your business was required to close its main service, in accordance with Government requirements, you were eligible to receive a grant through this scheme.

You may also have be eligible for this grant if the main part of your business closed but you had changed the nature of your business. For example you were providing 'click and collect' or takeaways rather than in-person service, such as a cafe, bar or restaurant.

If you were supplier to a business that was required to close and this had a severe impact on your business, you may also have been eligible.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment for period 16 February - 31 March (44 days) 

Less than £15,000

£2,096

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£3,143

More than £51,000

£4,714

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you met the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Businesses not covered by the scheme

If your businesses could remain open in line with government guidelines but you chose to close, you were not be eligible for this support.

If your business is not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example you are in a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you were able to apply for these grants if you met the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

If you operated your business from home you were not eligible (with the exception of registered Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) but not AirBnBs).

Service and Supply Chain Businesses

This scheme was aimed at businesses that had not been required to close, but as a result of the closure of businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, income had been significantly impacted. This included food suppliers to restaurants, hotels, cafes or leisure venues. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment for period 16 February - 31 March (44 days) 

Less than £15,000

£1,467

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£2,200

More than £51,000

£3,300

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you met the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding. 

The closing date for applications was 31 May 2021.

Businesses affected by national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to 15 February 2021

Also called Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Businesses required to close 

The government had set out which businesses should close and those that could remain open during national lockdown. If your business was required to close its main service, in accordance with Government requirements, you were eligible to receive a grant through this scheme.

You may also have be eligible for this grant if the main part of your business closed but you had changed the nature of your business. For example you were providing 'click and collect' or takeaways rather than in-person service, such as a cafe, bar or restaurant.

If you were supplier to a business that was required to close and this had a severe impact on your business, you may also have been eligible.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment for period 5 January - 15 February (six weeks) 

Less than £15,000

£2,001

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£3,000

More than £51,000

£4,500

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you meet the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Businesses not covered by the scheme

If your businesses could remain open in line with government guidelines but you chose to close, you were not be eligible for this support.

If you operated your business from home you were not eligible (with the exception of registered Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) but not AirBnBs).

Service and Supply Chain Businesses

This scheme was aimed at businesses that were not been required to close, but as a result of the closure of businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, income had been significantly impacted. This included food suppliers to restaurants, hotels, cafes or leisure venues. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment for period 5 January - 15 February (six weeks) 

Less than £15,000

£1,400.70

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£2,100.00

More than £51,000

£3,149.99

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you meet the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Closed Business Lockdown Payment

Businesses that were required to close from 5 January 2021 due to the introduction of national restrictions are eligible to an additional one-off payment.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment 

Less than £15,000

£4,000

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£6,000

More than £51,000

£9,000

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Businesses affected by Tier 4 Restrictions between 31 December and 4 January 2021

County Durham moved into Tier 4 between 31 December and 4 January 2021. For this period businesses impacted by this were entitled to a grant based on the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) scheme - similar to the scheme that applied during the national lockdown in November 2020.

Businesses covered by the scheme

The government set out which businesses should be closed and which ones could remain open during tier 4 restrictions.

If your business was required to close its main service, in accordance with Government requirements, you were eligible to receive a grant through this scheme.

You may also have been eligible for this grant if the main part of your business was closed but you had changed the nature of your business. For example you were providing 'click and collect' or takeaways rather than an in-person service.

If you were a supplier to a business that was required to close and this had a severe impact on your business, you may also have been eligible.

Businesses not covered by the scheme

If your businesses could remain open in line with government guidelines but you chose to close, you were not be eligible for this support.

If you operate your business from your home you were not eligible for these grants (with the exception of registered Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) but not AirBnBs).

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant was paid:

Rateable value of your property

Total payment for the 5 day period

Less than £15,000

£238.21

More than £15,000 and less than £51,000

£357.14

More than £51,000

£535.71

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you were still required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you meet the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Christmas support payment for bars and pubs

This government scheme offered extra grants of £1,000 to pubs and bars severely impacted over the Christmas period due to temporary local restrictions. The Government scheme provided support to those pubs and bars that do not serve meals or where the turnover from meals is less than 50% of their income. The council agreed to enhance the scheme to provide support to all pubs and bars affected during this period.  

The closing date for applications was 28 February 2021. 

Businesses affected by local restrictions between 2 and 30 December

For businesses affected by local restrictions, grants were available for businesses remaining closed and also businesses re-opening but severely impacted by the restrictions.

Businesses remaining closed

While County Durham was in local restrictions, many hospitality businesses remained closed. If your business remained closed, you may have been eligible for this grant.

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, a single grant covering the four weeks was paid:

Rateable value of your propertyTotal payment from 2 December to 30 December
Less than £15,000£1,334
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£2,000
More than £51,000£3,000

Businesses re-opening but severely impacted by the restrictions

If your businesses was able to re-open when county moved into Tier 3, but was severely impacted by the restrictions, you may still have been eligible for support. 

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, a single grant covering the four weeks was paid:

Rateable value of your propertyTotal payment from 2 December to 30 December
Less than £15,000£934
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£1,400
More than £51,000£2,100

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Businesses affected by national lockdown between 5 November and 2 December

Also called Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)

Businesses covered by the scheme

The government set out which businesses should be closed and which ones could remain open during national lockdown. If your business was required to close its main service, in accordance with Government requirements, you were eligible to receive a grant through this scheme.

You may also have been eligible for this grant if the main part of your business closed but you changed the nature of your business. For example you provided 'click and collect' or takeaways rather than in-person service, such as a cafe, bar or restaurant.

If you were a supplier to a business that was required to close and this had a severe impact on your business, you may also have been eligible. These discretionary grants will be funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Businesses not covered by the scheme

If your businesses could remain open in line with government guidelines but you chose to close, you were not be eligible for this support.

If you operated your business from home you were not eligible (with the exception of registered Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) but not AirBnBs).

Payment amount

If your business was eligible, during this period a single grant to cover the four weeks was paid:

Rateable value of your propertyTotal payment for four week period
Less than £15,000£1,334
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£2,000
More than £51,000£3,000

If your business was not the registered occupier of a rated premises, for example a shared space, but you had still been required to close as a result of the national lockdown, you could still apply for these grants if you meet the other eligibility criteria that applied. These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Businesses affected by restrictions on socialising between 18 September and 4 November

Also called Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)

If your business remained open but was severely impacted by the Tier 2 restrictions on socialising (between 18 September and 4 November) you may have been entitled to claim support under this scheme.

Businesses covered by the scheme

This scheme was aimed at businesses that were open when these restrictions came in and specifically those within the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors which included hotels, restaurants, cafe's, bars, sports and leisure venues, local community buildings and local charity shops.

This also included supply chains to these businesses who had been severely impacted (for example, food suppliers to restaurants, hotels, cafes or leisure venues). These discretionary grants were funded through the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

Businesses not covered by the scheme

Businesses associated with personal care such as those in the Health and Beauty industry (including hairdressers and tattooists) were not eligible for this grant. Neither were any other general retail business or garden centres.

Payment amount

If you were covered by the scheme, you received payment for the full period you were affected. The payment amount depended on the rateable value of  the business premises occupied that was impacted by the restrictions on socialising as follows:

Rateable value of your propertyTotal payment per weekTotal payment for seven week period from 18 September to 04 November
Less than £15,000£233.50£1,634.50
More than £15,000 and less than £51,000£350£2,450
More than £51,000£525£3675

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021. 

Businesses not allowed to re-open since 23 March

Also called Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector)

If your business was not allowed to re-open since March (for example nightclubs), you were eligible to claim a grant of up to £3,000 for every four week period that you were closed. This started from 1 November 2020 and it was not possible to backdate payments before this date.

The closing date for applications was 31 March 2021.