We are aware that studios have faced a postcode lottery when it comes to receiving discretionary business support grants from local authorities, and have been pushing for clarity in the guidance issued to local authorities by the government.
Last month, Creative Industries minister, Caroline Dinenage MP stated that
“The guidance for these additional restrictions grants encourages local authorities to develop discretionary schemes to help those businesses that are perhaps not legally forced to close but are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of covid.
On this point, I have received reports that some businesses such as recording and rehearsal studios, which might not be ratepayers and which are not explicitly mentioned in the guidance on these grant schemes, are being deemed ineligible by some local authorities.
To be clear to local authorities and businesses, although the ultimate decision is at the local authority’s discretion, the fund can, and in my opinion should, be used to provide grants to businesses like recording and rehearsal studios. Supporting these businesses is vital to preserve the UK’s talent pipeline, even if they do not sell to consumers directly on a specific premise.
I therefore encourage and expect local authorities to be sympathetic to applications from these types of businesses that have been impacted by covid-19 restrictions but are ineligible for other grant schemes.”
We hope this statement and link will be helpful to members in securing support from their local authority – we are keen to hear whether this is making a difference so please email email@example.com to let us know how you are getting on and whether there is anything further we can do to support.
We are seeking a similar clarification from the Scottish Government.