Discretionary grant in England now captures some coach operators

Coach operators in England with under 50 staff that failed to receive funding via the Business Rates Relief Scheme can apply for a grant of up to £25,000 from the government’s £617m discretionary grant fund. It will be administered by local authorities (LAs).

Coach operators have been added to the list of businesses that can apply for the discretionary grant following discussions between the Tourism Alliance and the Local Government Association. Tour operators are now also eligible.

The level of payment will be at the relevant LA’s discretion. Businesses that have already been successful in applying for business rates relief are not eligible for the discretionary grant fund.

Says Coach Tourism Association Chair John Wales: “The Tourism Alliance has been very successful in getting coach companies added to the list of businesses that can apply for funding from the discretionary fund.

“CTA strongly recommends that any member in this position should apply for a discretionary grant as soon as possible.”

The £617m discretionary fund was established by the government in early May. Its aim to help businesses with under 50 employees that did not receive rates relief funding. Coach operators were not on the original list of sectors that were eligible to apply.

However, following talks with the Tourism Alliance, coach operators have now been added. Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Julian Knight MP has also written to the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage asking what further measures the government intends to take to help the tourism industry.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport continues to seek wider support for the coach industry.