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New grant fund for small businesses

Northumberland workshop

Northumberland County Council is pleased to announce that it has received a new £4.6m grant fund from Government, which will support small businesses in the county which have been impacted by Covid-19.

This new Northumberland grant fund is aimed at small businesses which have not been eligible previously for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund, and applications open today online.

Under the guidance issued by Government the council invite applications for this Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund from small enterprises including:   

B&Bs or guest houses with three bed spaces and above and which pay council tax instead of business rates;

Businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, which do not have their own business rates assessment;

Small charities which receive charitable rates relief which would have otherwise been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief; and

Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment.


Applicants must also be a small or micro business, have relatively high ongoing, fixed property-related costs, and be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said:  “Local businesses are imperative to the future prosperity of Northumberland, and we are doing everything that we can to support them through this most difficult time.

“We have already paid out up to £83.5m to 7,412 businesses across Northumberland, and our further lobbying and close work with Government has now brought in an additional £4.6m through this fund. Our lobbying work will continue, so that we can maximise the amount of support available and help more sectors.

“I will be writing to the Chancellor again to stress the special nature of our local economy and to tailor support to those local businesses most in need.

“We are determined to support our business community and for Northumberland to come out of this crisis stronger than ever. We are developing a recovery plan for the county, which will include encouraging strong backing for local businesses.”

Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, said: "At the County Council we are not just relying on central Government. We are working on a comprehensive package of measures to kick start our successful local tourism offer once restrictions allow.

“We have invested significantly in a state of the art digital platform for all local tourism businesses, and a new brand and marketing campaign. We have also secured £1.5  investment from North of Tyne to support businesses including publicity and business development and recovery, and have already set aside a dedicated budget to promote our County.

"Once we are through the current crisis, the Council is determined to support our tourism sector back to the success that we have recently enjoyed, and more."

Through the discretionary grant fund, Ministers have asked local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Applications open today, and will close at midnight on Sunday 14 June

Payments will be made as soon as possible. 

In order to ensure that the grants can be paid promptly, the Council is asking applicants to ensure that they complete the required details as fully as possible, and double check the payment details that they provide. Applicants will also need to confirm they are eligible to receive this grant support under state aid rules.

Full guidance on the grant fund eligibility and the criteria which applicants must meet can be found on the council’s website at 

Download this file (Northumberland-County-Council-Discretionary-Grant-Criteria-FINALv2.pdf)Full Discretionary Grant Fund Guidance[Download PDF]116 kB544 Downloads
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