Many of you will have chosen an agri-tourism based farm diversification project such as glamping units. However, 2020 had other ideas and with national lockdowns in place most agri-tourism businesses were forced to remain closed for much of the year. But there is some hope on the horizon with the announcement of support grants on offer.
Farmers running leisure, agri-tourism and hospitality businesses may be eligible for additional support from the government in response to Covid-19.
The chancellor announced a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in early January. The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) is designed to support businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5 January 2021. This could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities, tourism and hospitality businesses.
To be eligible, a business must:
The grant’s value is based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of restrictions. A property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less may be eligible for a one-off cash grant of £4,000. A property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a one-off cash grant of £6,000. A property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above may be eligible for a one-off cash grant of £9,000.
According to the NFU, the grant is provided on a “per property” basis meaning that the owner of multiple properties of this description may be eligible for multiple grants.
Some of these may require an application to be submitted, others may process applications automatically based on their records of previous applications for support.
The CBLP can be claimed in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses, which offers payment for periods when businesses have been forced to close because of local restrictions or a national lockdown.
The Additional Restrictions Grant is also available from local councils and is for closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates, as well as businesses that do not have to close but have been impacted by lockdown. Local councils have the freedom to decide the exact eligibility criteria for these grants and the amount payable, so farmers are advised to look at their local authority website for further details.