Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance published – Cash grants of £25k available for eligible charities

Under the new Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property. The guidance was updated for a third time on 1 April to include additional State Aid information, monitoring and reporting requirements, Spotlight and post payment checks and clarification on eligibility of charities.

Eligible businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. The guidance confirms that charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL grant.

Based on the HMRC guidance on the Expanded Retail Discount, the hereditaments operated by charities are likely to include: charity shops, museums, galleries, historic houses, sport charity facilities, theatres, public halls, and clubhouses, clubs and institutions.

Please note that state aid rules will apply to these grants. The total amount of State Aid permissible for one organisation is at present expected to be €800,000 per support measure (uprated from €200,000 over three years before the coronavirus crisis under the State Aid temporary framework). Unfortunately this may seriously impact on the practical value of the grant to charities, as any charities with a larger number of properties could quickly exceed this limit. On 25 March, CTG and the CRA co-ordinated a call with over 20 affected charities to discuss practical implications for charities.  To receive briefing on this issue and/or to be involved in a future call, please contact [email protected].

Exclusions to Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant include:

  • hereditaments occupied for personal uses (eg private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings, Car parks and parking spaces,
  • businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquation or were dissolved
  • hereditaments with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • businesses in receipt of the Small Business Grant Fund (NB not available to charities anyway)

The Scottish Government has announced its own Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund for Scottish organisations. Full details can be found here.