Northumberland Tourism

Northumberland's Destination Management Organisation

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COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses

Northumberland workshop

COVID-19 Response: Support to Business


Key/Latest Updates from Local Government/Agencies


NEW Local Restrictions from 2nd December

National Restrictions until 2nd December

• Tourism & Hospitality Hub | Northumberland Business Hub 

• Local Funding eBulletins from Northumberland County Council 



New Local Restrictions from 2nd December

It has been announced that in line with all North East local authorities, Northumberland will be put in the Very High Alert (Tier 3) category from Wednesday 2nd December. This will be further reviewed on 16th December.

Full detail of what this means can be found on the link below, but in essence, for Tier 3: Very High alert 

• People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.

• People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.

• Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

• Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.

• Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:

• play centres and areas, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, trampolining parks,soft play, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement arcades, adult gaming centres, laser quests and escape rooms, snooker halls

• Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:

• zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions, model villages, museums, galleries and sculpture parks, botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses, theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes, landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.

• Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close.

• There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.

• Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.

• Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.

• Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place.

• Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. See full guidance for exceptions.

• People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

• Travel to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays should be avoided, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted.


Full guidance can be found here 



Current National Lockdown

From Thursday 5 November, new national restrictions will be in place for the period to Wednesday 2nd December. The new restrictions include:

• The closure of non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues.

• Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.

• Hotels may remain open but only for business stays, long term residents and other exceptional circumstances but must close restaurants and bars.


The full breakdown and outline details of the Government’s business support can be found at 

Visitor Economy Guidance

Official advice for working safely in the visitor economy is yet to be updated, but will be available here

Business Support

Businesses required to close will be eligible for support. Further information and more detail on support for businesses and the self-employed, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply can be found here

Visit Northumberland

During this short period of lockdown, Visit Northumberland will continue to work behind the scenes to prepare for the reopening of the visitor economy from December.

We will continue with our planned roll-out of the new digital platform, and offer you the opportunity to partner with us at no cost. In the New Year, we will be ready to initiate marketing campaigns to reassure visitors that Northumberland is ready to welcome them back, and encourage new visitors to enjoy the many endless experiences on offer across our marvellous county.

The Tourism Hub will remain open for any business support enquiries.


Key/Latest Updates from National Government


The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme 

Chancellor's Plan for Jobs 

Business advisers offering free services 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for hospitality businesses 

We're Good to Go - VisitBritain Industry Standard - Apply now 

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do 

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme guidance updated

COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Find Coronavirus Financial Support for your Business 

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Business Advice Hub

VisitBritain/VisitEngland COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker






The Northumberland Covid Business Response programme


The Northumberland Covid Business Response (NCBRP) programme has been designed to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to recover and restart

It is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Covid-19 Capacity Fund and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of the County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

There are two strands to the programme:

Business Advantage

This provides access to 12 hours of 1-2-1 coaching or consultancy for businesses looking to explore new methods of business delivery, increase productivity or become more resilient. It is open to large businesses and SMEs across the county.

Digital Advantage

This support will enable SMEs from across the county to introduce digital tools into their day to day business activity. These tools include e-commerce websites and proactive digital marketing campaigns to expand and reach new customers. Businesses in the hospitality sector could have the chance to create bespoke apps fully funded for their business.

For more details and to register your interest go to: or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Tourism and Hospitality Hub

Northumberland County Council has established a dedicated Tourism and Hospitality Hub to support businesses in the sector looking to reopen. 

They have a specialist team available to offer you help and advice prior to the industry’s permitted reopening on July 4 and throughout the first few weeks of opening.

Contact the team by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


How can I get help?

If you are a business in the tourism or hospitality sector and need help or advice on reopening your business, we can help.

Contact the Tourism and Hospitality Response Hub.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


What can they help with?

A specialist team of advisers can help with:

Understanding social distancing measures and how to apply them in your business

Cleaning protocols

Support for staff

Licensing and permission issues

Accessing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)


Who can access the Tourism and Hospitality Hub?

Their specialist team can offer help, advice and support to the following sectors:

Heritage locations

Hotels and other guest accommodation

Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway outlets

Wider visitor / tourism economy (including attractions, events and shows)


VisitBritain - We're Good to Go

We’re Good to Go - Visit Britain has launched a new industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

All you have to do is complete an online self-assessment and ensure you have all the necessary processes in place.

Please click here for more information


Pavement Licensing

New legislation on pavement licensing is due to be introduced later this month. Find out more about this legislation on our page by clicking here. For more information about the national draft guidence visit the website here.


Other Support for businesses

As businesses look to reopen, welcome back more staff, or change how they operate, there are a number of areas you may need to consider to ensure both staff and customers remain safe.

This information was last updated on 24 June 2020.

Please click here for the latest information from the website



Grant funding and loans


The latest updates in business grant funding and loans as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund

The Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund was launched by Government in May and closed on Friday 28 August at midnight.

The fund was primarily aimed at small and micro businesses with high ongoing fixed property-related costs, and businesses which could demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have queries about the Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Small Business and Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Grant Funds

These grant funds were launched by Government in March.

The Small Business Grant Fund was for local businesses which usually receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief may qualify for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) of £10,000.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund was for retail, hospitality or leisure businesses may qualify for a grant of £10,000 (if their rateable value is below £15,000), or a grant of £25,000 (if their rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000), under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Both funds are now closed.

If you have any queries about applications please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Kick-starting Tourism Package

Businesses in tourist destinations across the North East LEP region (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland) that depend on visitors for income can apply for grants of £3,000.

This fund is administered by the North East LEP.  The first phase of the package had many Expressions of Interest. The second round for applications is now open from Wednesday 9 September at 10:30am. Before you apply, please read the eligibility criteria (available at the link below) in full. 

For any other queries relating to either scheme, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click here to visit the North East Growth Hub website.


Future Fund

This fund is for companies which are facing financing difficulties due to COVID-19. The loans range from £125,000 to £5 million (subject to at least equal match funding from private investors), and may be an option for businesses unable to access other government support.

The scheme is open for applications until the end of September 2020. 

Please click here to apply


Fishing and aquaculture businesses

There are two funds for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses, administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and that target those most in need. 

Fisheries Response Fund

Qualifying fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly in stages by MMO, starting from Monday 20 April 2020.

Qualifying aquaculture businesses are being contacted directly by MMO from Thursday 07 May 2020.

Domestic Seafood Supply Fund

The second fund is a grant scheme to support the sale of fish locally.


Bounce Back Loan

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan will help both small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.

Businesses will be able to apply for loans from £2,000 to £50,000, with no fees or interest for the first 12 months.

Please click here to apply.


Larger Businesses

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The government has introduced a financing facility where the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. Operating initially for 12 months, it’s intended to relieve cash flow pressures. 

Find out if the Corporate Financing Facility is right for you.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of up to £45m to apply for Government-backed finance up to £5m. The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. 

Please click here for more information about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.





Local Updates


North East Growth Hub COVID-19 Toolkit

Providing local businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include:

• Financial support available for businesses

• Official guidance for employees, employers and businesses

• Advice on effective home working

• How to care for staff/suppliers/customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19



Other Updates


Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC UK)

The Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC UK) have made their weekly COVID-19 newsletter freely available to anyone in British self-catering. Please the latest weekly editions below:

COVID-19 Update 8 June 2020

Other PASC UK Updates


Association  of Scottish Self Caterers (ASSC)

The ASSC is the primary source of news and information for all self-catering businesses in Scotland:

Important Legionella Action


Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance on insurance

The FCA has set up the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) - an independent body to provide arbitration for insurance claims of smaller businesses (with turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees). The decision of the FOS is binding on insurers up to £350,000. 

To take your complaint directly to the FOS, please contact: 

The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
E14 9SR
Telephone: 0300 123 9123
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Guidance to employers and businesses about COVID-19 

The UK Government has produced guidance for employers about the signs and symptoms and how to treat staff presenting with symptoms. As well as information on the support available. Click here to find out more


Business Rate Measures

Government has announced the intention to increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

Government will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that are eligible for the increased retail discount will receive a new bill from the Council as soon as possible. As this relief will mean that eligible businesses have no business rates to pay in 2020/21 the direct debit payments previously notified for 2020/21 will not be collected.


Other measures from UK Government

Time to Pay - A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress caused by COVID-19 and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement Tel: 0800 0159 559

Support for UK exporters - Other support for export, supply and UK Export Finance impacted by COVID-19 can be found by clicking here  

Request for UK Industry support The UK Government has issued a call to action to companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to making ventilators to assist in treating patients affected COVID-19. If your business is able to support this request - please either call 0300 456 3565 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Further background to the request can be found by clicking here 




This page and the external links contained in the page may change regularly so please keep checking our communication channels for further updates along with the Government, Public Health England & NHS websites.


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