UKHospitality welcomes Budget grants

Grants support critical for businesses to survive, but more needed at the Budget for a successful hospitality revival.

UKHospitality has welcomed a new package of grant support that government has confirmed ahead of Wednesday’s Budget.

The measure will see grants of up to £18,000 per hospitality premises to facilitate the sector’s restart this summer. An additional £425m has also been added to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund to help those not receiving the grants.

Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will be eligible for £8,000. For properties with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, it will be £12,000, and for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, it's £18,000.

"This announcement is great news for hospitality businesses that have been struggling to see how they could survive through to the prime minister’s reopening dates," says Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality. "Cash reserves have been severely depleted after a year of closure and restrictions, and these grants are a very welcome boost, putting the sector in a better place to restart."

The trade body has highlighted the urgent need for the grants to reach all hospitality businesses as quickly as possible. UKHospitality points out that previous grants have been delayed by bureaucratic processes, and businesses reported that only 37% of grants announced in January had been paid out a month later.

"Businesses are crying out for the cash now, so there can be no further delays which might make it too late for some," adds Nicholls. “The government must also clarify once and for all that these grants are not subject to EU State Aid rules and that grants can flow to all businesses that so desperately need them.

“While this is a positive step, it needs to be part of a wider package at the Budget that includes an extension to the 5% VAT rate for a full year and a business rates holiday through 2021/22. Without these measures, and full furlough while we re-open, the hospitality sector’s recovery will be stunted along with our ability to start tackling unemployment by creating jobs.”