Covid-19 Government Support for Community Buildings

1.  Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RH&L Grant)

This grant is for organisations (including charities) that manage buildings which fall within the business rates system – even if they don’t pay any business rates.  Charities qualify for 80% mandatory business rate relief and can apply to their local authority for an additional 20% discretionary relief.   So, even if your organisation doesn’t pay any rates, it may be eligible provided it has a rateable value.  Check the Valuation Office Agency website to see if your premises are registered for business rates.

If your premises has a rateable value of up to £15,000 then you can claim £10,000; and if the rateable value is above £15,000 but less than £51,000 then you can claim £25,000.

If your district or borough council hasn’t already made contact with you (their contact details for you might be out of date), you should get in touch with their business rates department as soon as possible.  If you have any problems, please contact our Community Facilities Adviser, Frances Harris: [email protected].

Community buildings run by parish councils in their statutory capacity and church halls which are exempt from paying business rates will not qualify for this grant.  But they might qualify for a Local Authority Discretionary Grant (see below)

2.  Expanded Retail Discount – Extension of Business Rates Relief

If your organisation pays business rates then the Government will cover this for the current year (2020-21).  This is called the Expanded Retail Discount scheme.

3.  Local Authority Discretionary Grant

In May, the Government also announced a discretionary fund for local councils to use to support small businesses with ongoing fixed-property costs and which may not qualify for a RH&L Grant or a Small Business Grant.  Few details have been released about how this scheme will work so the best course is for organisations who have experienced significant income drops because of Covid-19 to contact their district or borough council.  This grant fund could be of help to those organisation (e.g. parish councils and parochial church councils) that run community buildings which do not qualify for the RH&L Grant.