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Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) availability?

Despite the announcement from BEIS, my local council doesn't appear to be offering any ARG funds.

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Small businesses who are continuing to trade (albeit with reduced rurnover and profits) have been able to use CJRS to assist with staff costs ... and are supposed to be able to claim LRSG or ARG to assist with fixed overheads (such as rates and rent) - subject of course to specific rules & eligibility criteria.  According to (the current guidance for local authorities on paying grants to support businesses during national lockdown and periods of local restrictions):

* ARG provides additional funding for local authorities subject to national lockdown or Tier 3 restrictions, to support businesses that have had their trade affected by the restrictions ... including businesses that have not been required to close, but are still severely impacted.

Although I believe that this grant is discretionary (and each Local Auth can create its own priorities/rules), the only reference to ARG on the relevant web page of NHDC (North Herts Dist Cncl) - my local council - says "This scheme closed on 15 December 2020" (which is before BEIS announced additional funding)!

Has anyone managed to make a claim for this grant?  And, if so, via which Local Auth?  Or was the announcement just political hot air?

Replies (4)

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By SXGuy
15th Jan 2021 07:57

I believe some LAs haven't got round to sorting it out yet.

But even when they do, you'll probably find that they will only supply the grant to the hospitality, retail and leasure sectors.

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By johnt27
15th Jan 2021 09:41

I'm sick to death with the fact that local authorities have been given responsibility to dish out these grants. I'm treasurer for a sports club that operates accomodation in Wales, England and Scotland.

Each devolved administration has differing grant levels and tiers and each local council is administering these grants in different ways. This total lack of consistency is an administrative nightmare although I do appreciate sufficient fraud measures need to be in place.

Wales are best by far, or at least Gwynedd Council are. We applied for the original round of grants in 2020 - the applications opened well before many other council areas and since the original funding was approved, every subsequent tranche has been notified by email and automatically paid out and more quickly than for our other properties.

By contrast South Lakes (SLDC) are appalling. Each round of funding has to be applied for, repeating the submission of information already provided, I don't receive any automatic notifications of when their applications are open and they seem to be one of the last to get the applications up and running, which means the application window is narrow. I have to check their website on an almost daily basis.

Stirling Council are closer to Gwynedd in their approach.

We're lucky that we aren't desperate for the cash but I have a huge amount of sympathy for those businesses that need this support asap particularly if they operate across differing local authority areas. It's a real post code lottery and could be the difference between survival and failure.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
15th Jan 2021 10:04

Here's one district's interpretation:

At the bottom of the page is a link to Additional Restrictions Grant from 5th January 2021 onwards ("Part D" of which launched on 11th January).

Not my district, btw, but a useful insight from an on-the-ball council. My district is still displaying its "Coming Soon" sticker, and nothing more.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
By Hugo Fair
15th Jan 2021 11:37

Thanks for the link ... it's certainly better laid out (and easier to follow) than many of the council sites that I've trawled through.

Unfortunately they appear to be adamant that "Part D grants are exclusively for non-rated businesses that have been mandated to close due to national lockdown restrictions. Therefore, only businesses that fall into retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are eligible to apply" ... which is a non sequitur in itself.
More importantly it's not in tune with the BEIS announcement that says (as per my original posting above) that the remit of ARG "includes businesses that have not been required to close, but are still severely impacted".

So we're faced with a double whammy ... not only is the grant in the hands of LAs (with all the resultant differences in rules & operations that you'd therefore expect), but also the LAs seem to be 'inventing' new labels for the grants - which makes it hard to tell whether they're applying stricter rules than intended, or have merely failed to catch up with their obligations!

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