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Business & Economy

Funding forthcoming for pandemic-hit Newcastle businesses

New grants are to be made available for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions across Newcastle.

Local leaders are preparing to administer the grants as the city followed the rest of the country into lockdown on November 5.

Newcastle had already been under Tier 2 (high alert) restrictions since October 14.

Newcastle City Council is working through the details to ensure a streamlined application process for when funding becomes available.

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture at the council, said: “As with most government announcements, there is a delay in the detail and funding reaching the council, but now we have the guidance, we are looking at the best way to support our local traders.

“We know these are incredibly anxious times for our businesses, particularly with forced closures in the run-up to Christmas, and businesses are looking to councils to provide certainty and support during these challenging times.

“Earlier this year, we administered over £61.5 million to support our local economy, and we would like to reassure businesses that we will have the teams and systems in place to act quickly as soon as the funding reaches us.

“We will make a full announcement as soon as we are able to.”

The Chancellor has announced funding both for hospitality and leisure venues severely affected by Tier 2 restrictions and businesses more broadly forced to close due to the national lockdown.

Newcastle City Council are working through the detail on how the schemes will work and are aiming to launch in mid-November.