Digital, Culture Media, and Sport Parliamentary Committee asks the Government for answers about support for the tourism industry
Coach operators who failed to receive funding via the Business Rates Relief Scheme can now apply for grants of up to £25,000 from the new £617 million Discretionary Grant Fund
Following discussions between The Tourism Alliance and the Local Government Association coach/tour operators have now been added to the list of businesses who can apply to their local authority for grants of up to £25,000.
The amount of the payment is at the local authority’s discretion and businesses that have already been successful in applying for business rates relief will not be eligible.
The £617m discretionary fund was set up by the Government in early May with the aim of helping small businesses who did not receive rates relief funding, but coach operators were not on the original list of industries that could apply. However, following the talks with The Tourism Alliance they have now been included.Securing this additional funding is also a welcome boost to the Back Britain’s Coaches campaign, which is being run by the Confederation of Passenger Transport, with the aim of securing additional supports for the coach tourism industry.
Said Coach Tourism Association chair John Wales: “The Tourism Alliance has been very successful in getting coach companies added to the list of businesses who can apply for funding from the new discretionary fund. The CTA would strongly recommend that any members in this position should apply for a discretionary grant as soon as possible”.
The Digital, Culture Media, and Sport Parliamentary Committee is also asking the Government for answers about support for the tourism industry. Chair, Julian Knight MP, has now written to the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage asking what measures the Government intends to take to help kickstart the tourism industry, how it will promote UK holiday destinations and whether or not it supports the proposal for an extra bank holiday. The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK states the value of coach tourism is £7.4bn to the tourism economy, with 50% of that being the turnover of coach tour operators, who directly employ some 42,000 people. Ninety eight per cent of coaches are currently mothballed.
More details of the fund can be found on the Local Government Association website at:
The CTA has also pointed members towards the Government’s Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan scheme launched late last month which helps small and medium-sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover – to a maximum of £50,000. The loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government and there are no fees or interest payments for the first 12 months. After that the interest rate with 2.5% per year.
Details can be seen on the Government website at: