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New £30m support for Welsh hospitality and leisure

Published:  03 March, 2021

The Welsh government has unveiled a £30m support package for hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The news comes as the country waits for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reveal the details of today’s budget and the planned support for the sector. 

The Welsh Economic Resilience Fund will be made available to small, medium and large businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors as well as related supply chain businesses.

It has also confirmed that if the coronavirus restrictions are extended at its next review on 12 March 2021, a further £150m in grants could be made available to firms, including micro businesses, through the Welsh government’s Non Domestic Rates scheme. 

While the funding is targeted to businesses employing ten or more staff in recognition of the relatively higher level of operating costs that these businesses face, the Welsh government has confirmed that if restrictions are extended businesses in these sectors that pay non-domestic rates will receive an additional payment of up to £5k regardless of the number of employees.

Minister for the economy, transport and north Wales, Ken Skates, said: “This last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and we are aware of the significant challenges facing our fantastic hospitality, tourism and leisure sector.

“The focus of this latest £30m round of funding is to target further support at the small, medium and large businesses in these sectors with the specific aim of protecting as many jobs as possible.”

Minister for finance, Rebecca Evans, added: “The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors and the people it employs.

“This new fund, and our provision of additional funding should restrictions be extended, responds to the latest phase of the pandemic and signifies our continued commitment to the sector, helping them to survive the toughest of times until they are in a position to safely reopen their doors again.”

Welcoming the news, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said: “Welsh government has again listened directly to our constructive proposals for more vital support and the new money will play a leading part in continuing to save local jobs and local businesses until March 31 in communities right across Wales while lockdown persists.”