2020/06/01 New business grants available

Discretionary Grants Fund

The government has launched a new round of business grants and Lancaster City Council will be awarding grants of a minimum of £2,000 to eligible applicants.

In the first instance Lancaster City Council will only accept applications from the following businesses, which the government has asked all local authorities to prioritise:

·        Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment

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

·        Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates

·        Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief


There are four key eligibility criteria which must all be met.

1. Small and micro businesses, where two of these three conditions are met: 

·        Turnover: Not more than £10.2 million  

·        Balance sheet total: Not more than £5.1 million  

·        Number of employees: a headcount of staff of less than 50 

2. Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs  
3. Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis  
4. Businesses occupying all or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. 

Businesses that have already received a government support grant are not eligible for this grant.

Businesses that have received assistance from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are eligible as long as they fulfil the four key eligibility criteria.

·        Further information on eligibility and how the grant will be administered and funds awarded is available on GOV.UK

How to apply

·        Apply for a discretionary business support grant

Please see the following guidance to support your application:

·        Guidance on completing a discretionary grant application form (PDF)

·        Lancaster City Council guidance on the eligibility criteria for awarding discretionary grants

·        Government guidance on the discretionary grant fund

Paper applications are available on request. Please email econdev@lancaster.gov.uk or telephone Customer Services on 01524 582000.  

Closing date

Applications for this round of grants must be received by 30 June 2020.