In November 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced additional discretionary funding for Local Authorities to distribute to businesses. The allocation for these funds from central government has been based on the number of residents within the borough, not the number of businesses per borough and as such Westminster’s original allocation was limited to only £5.2m. All Local Authorities have since received top-up funding from central government, still based on the number of residents formula. Westminster City Council’s top-up allocation is £2.3m bringing the total funding envelope to £7.5m.
Westminster’s ARG Scheme
The £7.5m funding allocation will be used to administer Westminster City Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant scheme as set out below.
The eligibility criteria has been determined following Cabinet Member direction.
Following the first round of the scheme and the receipt of the top-up allocation from central government, the City Council has revised the eligibility criteria for the scheme and increased the value of individual grant awards as follows:
- Previous Discretionary Grant Fund recipients who are in non-essential retail, hospitality or leisure; who supply the first-tier retail, hospitality or leisure sectors; and businesses within the events sector will now be eligible to apply.
- Successful applicants through the first round of ARG to receive a top-up of £3,000 to their originally approved £2000 grant award.
- Enhancing the grants from £2,000 to £5000 per business for new successful applicants through the second and possibly final round of the scheme.
Therefore only businesses who fall under one of the below three categories will be eligible to apply:
- non-ratepayers in non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality business (including, hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation and leisure businesses) which are effectively forced to close or have been severely impacted by the restrictions. This includes previous Discretionary Grant Fund recipients
- ratepayer or non-ratepayer businesses that supply (first tier) the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, including previous grant Discretionary Grant Fund recipients
- ratepayer or non-ratepayer businesses in the events sector, including previous Discretionary Grant Fund recipients
Due to the limited funding available to the Council, awards will continue to be made on a “first come first served” basis to eligible businesses that provide valid application forms together with all of the requested documentary evidence.
The scheme will be administered until the funding pot has been fully exhausted. Business who fail to submit all of the relevant documentary evidence in the time-frame stated on their application correspondence will have their applications discontinued.
Please only submit an application to the City Council if you believe your business falls under one of the three listed business categories.
What you will need to apply
In total, the process will involve the completion of two forms, an initial pre-screening form and a full application form. Upon successful completion of the two forms businesses will then be required to submit supporting documentation via email for audit and compliance purposes.
Beyond standard details, we recommend having the following information to hand in order to complete the forms with ease:
- Trading/Registered Address
- Company Registration Number / Charity Number (if applicable)
- Unique Tax Reference Number (if applicable)
- Links to online presence (if applicable)
- Information regarding the pandemic’s impact on the business (E.g. estimated % drop in sales)
- Business Rates Account Number (if applicable)
- Bank details for the payment of a grant
To apply for the City Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme, please complete the ARG form, and follow the instructions on the subsequent forms and emails.
Following successful completion of the pre-screening form, businesses will be sent the full application form and subsequent requests and instructions, therefore it is important that businesses monitor the inbox of the email they use to apply.
In the event that you encounter any issues with the application process, please contact the Westminster Business Unit:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 7641 2070