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New £10m Local Business Support Grants Launched for Liverpool City Region

A further £10m round of financial support has been announced for Liverpool City Region businesses.

The new Local Business Support Grants, of between £3,750 and £13,500 per business, are aimed at businesses who have not yet accessed funding from the Liverpool City Region.

The £10m fund is the latest round of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s COVID emergency funds.

Since they were announced in October last year, more than 1,700 businesses have been supported through the first two rounds of funding. Businesses who have previously been supported are eligible for top-up grants of up to £10,500 and are being contacted directly by their local councils.

In Sefton, the first two rounds of funding have already seen over £1.6m of grants paid to 313 businesses. There still remains an exceptionally high volume of work created by these rounds of funding and the subsequent top-up grants, and businesses are thanked for their patience during this time. 

The new grants are aimed at small and microbusinesses, specifically:

  • Businesses that have been ordered to close and are outside the business rate system.
  • Businesses in the hospitality and leisure supply chain that either pay business rates or have commercial property related costs.
  • Self-employed / Sole trader / home-based businesses / licenced market traders working in or supplying the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
  • Businesses in any sector, including the self-employed / sole traders / home-based businesses, that can demonstrate a loss of income of more than 40% due to Covid-19. Businesses can also apply for this grant if they pay business rates or have commercial property related costs.

Businesses wishing to apply for the grants should do so through their local council. Sefton based businesses can find guidance and further details about the application process on the Sefton Council website. 

In a joint statement, the Leaders and Acting Mayor of the six City Region Local Authorities, and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “We know how tough this last year has been for local businesses and we are doing everything we can to help support them through the pandemic.

“We’ve already distributed tens of millions of pounds to local businesses and this latest fund is open to the sorts of small and micro businesses that have not yet qualified for funding, so we can safeguard more jobs and livelihoods. Thousands of people depend on these businesses for their livelihoods and they are at the very heart of our communities.

“The vaccine rollout is continuing, and we can start to see a return to something resembling normality. Let’s keep looking after each other and we can make it through the coming weeks and months.”

An initial “window” will open for receipt of applications for the Liverpool City Region Local Business Support Grant  from 10am on Wednesday 10 February 2021 and close at 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021.

It is anticipated that demand for the Local Business Support Grants will outstrip supply, so businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Local Business Support Grant will be administered by each of the six local authorities that form the Combined Authority, namely Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

Additional support announced for Liverpool City Region taxi drivers

A further £2m fund, established by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to enable its six local authorities to contribute to the costs of taxi licences, has been announced, taking the total support package to £3.5 million.

Established in October last year, the first round of the fund enabled the six local authorities to provide £100 each towards the cost of the taxi licence for taxi drivers resident in the Liverpool City Region.
The Leaders and Acting Mayor of the City Region’s six local authorities and the Metro Mayor have now agreed to increase that fund to a maximum of £3.5 million.

Drivers who have already received the £100 grant are eligible for an additional grant of £200, and a £200 grant will also be available to drivers who have not yet applied for support.

City Region leaders have also continued to campaign for the Government to increase the amount of specific financial support they are providing for taxi drivers and other self-employed people and freelancers impacted by the pandemic – many of whom are still not eligible for any of the national support schemes.

The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licensed taxi drivers in their area. For details on how to access the funding, taxi drivers should consult their local licensing authority’s website.

Drivers licensed by Sefton Council will receive a letter detailing how they can access the grant. Further details are available on the Sefton Council website.

The fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to top up schemes which benefit local taxi drivers in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes, such as SEISS (the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme).

In a joint statement, the Leaders and Acting Mayor of the six City Region Local Authorities, and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “We recognise the hardship experienced by our area’s taxi drivers, who have seen their trade seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.

“We acknowledged when we launched this fund that it was a gesture of support. We know that this additional funding is still largely symbolic but have made it available in recognition of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

“As the City Region’s political leadership, we are continuing to press the Government for financial support packages that work for everyone whose livelihood has been affected by Covid-19 restrictions.”

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr Wendy Simon
Acting Mayor of Liverpool

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

Exciting plans for the future of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre are now underway

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed to fund a significant investment of £3.1m to transform the facility, which on completion will provide a new and improved hospitality offer including enhanced wedding, conference, hotel, dining and bar facilities.  A new residential bunkbarn will also be built, to provide overnight accommodation for groups.

This new investment will also allow Sefton Council to ensure delivery of the new hospitality offer, as it plans set up it a wholly-owned company to manage these operations at the facility. Sefton Council’s Cabinet Meeting of 4th February 2021 is expected to approve the incorporation of a new company that will manage the new food, beverage and accommodation offer being provided.

With the quality of customer service and experience at the foundation of the offer, the company will aim to be the ‘employer of choice’ locally in the sector, offering a fantastic work culture with industry-leading terms and conditions for employees, and training programmes to support career development opportunities in the company and across the hospitality and leisure sectors.  It is intended that the company will in turn attract, develop and retain the best workforce available in the sector, which will strengthen the offer to customers. Furthermore, the operating company will remove the subsidy currently provided to the venue, delivering a surplus to the council over the next ten years and beyond.

Construction works will soon be underway on the £3.1m transformation of the Centre. Situated at the entrance to the beautiful Crosby Coastal Park and adjacent to Anthony Gormley’s Another Place (the ‘iron men’), the facility provides an events venue, food and drink, hotel accommodation, watersports, a gym and fitness studios and, for many years, has been a popular destination for Sefton residents, visitors from the Liverpool City Region and further afield.

Artists impressions, detailed designs will be available soon

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said:

“I am delighted that works can soon begin to take place and we will start to see these exciting new plans develop.”

 “The establishment of a new Council-owned company will allow us to implement a first-class hospitality offer which will put the customer experience at the heart of everything we do, whilst creating positive outcomes for Sefton residents by generating quality employment and training opportunities within the borough.

“I understand that visitors may currently miss being able to take advantage of our bar and café facilities while works are ongoing, but I assure people that it will be worth the wait

“This development means Crosby Lakeside can reach its full potential of being an impressive leisure and hospitality destination in a perfect location.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:

“The Lakeside Adventure Centre is a fantastic facility, enjoyed by people not just from our region but from all over.

“Sefton Council have some really exciting plans for the site, and we’ve invested £3.1m to ensure that it keeps improving and attracting more and more people. When its transformation is finished, Crosby will have another fantastic leisure and hospitality destination to add to the City Region’s visitor economy.”

In addition to the transformation of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, Sefton Council is also leading on improvements to the surrounding areas, to complement the project and to further fulfil the potential of this spectacular area of Crosby’s coast. Improvements to lighting along cycle and pedestrian paths in the coastal park will also be delivered, along with the restoration of the lake water management system to enable easier on-going maintenance of the Lake.

The construction project and external works are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

£10m Top-Up Grants announced for Liverpool City Region businesses

A new £10m round of top-up grants will be made available for all 1,500 businesses supported by the first two rounds of the Liverpool City Region’s emergency COVID-related support grants.

Depending on the size of the business, the top-up grants will be worth between £2,250 and £10,500. The funding is the latest in of a series announced by the Leaders, the Metro Mayor and Acting Mayor of the region’s six local councils to support the local economy.

In response to the government putting the Liverpool City Region into Tier 3 back in October, the Combined Authority and local councils launched a £40m fund to support businesses operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which form a large part of the local economy.

This included a £9.5m fund, the first of its kind in the country, to support small and micro businesses working in leisure, hospitality and retail. This included funding for the self-employed, sole traders, home-based workers and their supply chains, many of whom have been excluded from government support since the pandemic started.

In a joint statement, the Leaders and Acting Mayor of the six City Region Local Authorities and Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said:

“Local businesses have taken a battering over the past year, but we’ve been doing everything we can to help support and sustain them throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve already given out tens of millions of pounds to help keep 1,500 local businesses afloat and, with the current lockdown, we know things are still tough for many. Today we’re making another £10m available to help safeguard people’s jobs and livelihoods through the next few months.

“We will also be announcing details of a further fund next week to help some of those who have not yet qualified for support.

“While the vaccine rollout continues apace, a return to something resembling normality is in sight. We just need to stick together and make it through the coming weeks and months.”

The additional payments will be made to businesses that received Hospitality and Leisure Grants (First Round: October 2020), and Expanded Hospitality, Leisure and Retail Grants (Second Round: November 2020).

Businesses in Sefton that meet these criteria will be contacted directly by Sefton Council and will have to complete a simple form confirming their previous application details are still correct.

More information about the Council’s COVID support for businesses can be found here

How business forced to close under lockdown restrictions can access the latest support grant

Sefton businesses that have been ordered to close during the current COVID-19 national lockdown, and are liable for business rates, may be eligible for a further support payment.

Am I eligible?

The full eligibility criteria can be found on the business section of the Council’s website along with detailed guidance of how to apply and the amount that a business might receive. The window for new applications is expected to open this Thursday, 21 January.

Do I need to apply again?

Businesses that have previously applied for, and received, a Local Restrictions Support Grant (for any period after 14 October 2020) will not need to submit a further application as an automatic payment will be issued.

When will my business receive a payment?

The Council’s business rates team will begin making payments from Friday 22 January and expect to have issued grants to all eligible businesses by Friday 29 January. Payments are expected to take 2-3 days from issue before appearing in nominated bank accounts.

What if a business hasn’t applied for any grants before?

Applications from businesses who have not previously received support will first need to be verified for eligibility, with payments expected to be issued by Wednesday 17 February.

How do I apply?

Applications must be made online and submitted no later than Wednesday 31 March 2021. Any applications submitted after that date will not be eligible to receive a grant.

The application form is expected to be available and live by Thursday 21 January.

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