COVID-19: Reopening High Streets Safely Fund
On the 24/5/20 the Government confirmed a new £50 million fund provided by the EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has been set up to help councils support local high streets to get back to business with minimum risk. The guidance provides details of the activities that can be supported and an overview of how it will be administered, as well as key ERDF contractual requirements.
The government’s ambition is to reopen non-essential retail outlets in stages from 1 June. Their strategy was outlined in the COVID19 recovery plan that detailed a phased response to the virus.
Who is the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund for?
The Fund is to help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures for non-essential retail outlets to reopen and get customers shopping. It will support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers, helping businesses prepare for when they can begin to trade safely, it can also be used to develop public spaces (beach fronts and promenades). Councils can use this money to develop marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that high streets and other commercial areas are safe.
There are certain activities out of scope for the funding, for example:
- Funding can support some temporary changes to the physical environment, but those changes should not be anticipated to last beyond 12 months, or until no longer required for social distancing.
- Funding cannot provide direct financial support to businesses to make adaptations to premises, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), purchase goods or equipment or offset wages or other operating costs.
The money will be allocated on a per capita basis and will be ready to spend from 1 June 2020. The grant awards will be available to access up until the end of March 2021, councils are encouraged to use the funding by the end of 2020 to address immediate needs.
Specialist licensing and regulatory legal advice
If you are looking for specialist advice around any aspect of reopening your business and the impact on your licence or health and safety regulations, please contact Melissa Toney by calling 0117 906 9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org