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New Covid-19 grants available now for pubs

Pubs in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse which receive most of their income from drink sales can now apply for a new Covid-19 support grant from their district council.

Under the current Tier 2 restrictions pubs can only open if they serve substantial meals.  Customers sitting inside may only do so with others from their own household bubble group.  With these restrictions in place, many pubs face a significantly reduced income during what would normally be their busiest time of the year. 

To help support businesses, the government is providing funding which is being administered locally by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.  Grant funding amounts and limits are set by the government.

New – Christmas Support Payment for Wet-Led Pubs – this is a new one-off grant which provides £1,000 to pubs which receive less than 50 per cent of their income from food sales, including those which serve substantial meals and are currently open. Applications for this grant close on 31 January 2021, so please apply as quickly as possible. This grant is in addition to other grants you can apply for.

Pubs which do not serve substantial meals and are therefore required to close temporarily can also apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed – Local Restrictions) – this continuing grant provides up to £1,500 every 14 days for rate paying businesses only that are temporarily required to close, or where the substantive element of their business has to close.  This grant is available while restrictions remain in place. 

Businesses which were required to close during the national lockdown can also still apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed – National Lockdown) to cover the period from 5 November to 1 December.

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We know the restrictions are placing a significant financial pressure on many pubs, especially at this time of year which would normally be their busiest period.  If you are a wet-led pub, please apply for the Christmas support payment as soon as possible and I urge any business that continues to be impacted by the restrictions to visit to check out what help and support is available.”

Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Please don’t miss out on this funding.  Even if you are a pub that has received money before, as long as more than half your income comes from drink rather than food then you should be eligible for this new support.  The application is quick and easy to do, so please submit your details as soon as possible.”

“If you know someone who is involved in the pub trade please tell them about this funding and encourage them to apply.”

To find out more details about these and other grants, and for the latest information, please visit South and Vale Business Support website –

The South and Vale Business Support team are happy to answer any questions you may have about grants allocation and eligibility.