More than £25 million of business support grant funding processed

9 April 2020

More than £25 million of support grant funding for businesses in South Lakeland has been processed in the first two weeks of the scheme.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) launched its application process for the government support grants on 27 March and invited eligible businesses to complete an online form. 

By this afternoon the council had received 3,281 online applications and had validated £25 million of the grant fund, with businesses in the district already seeing grants of £10k or £25k appearing in their bank accounts.

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, SLDC portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: “This has been an incredible effort to make sure we’ve processed these applications as quickly as possible to get the money to these businesses.

“We created a straightforward online application process to ensure we could receive applications, validate them and release the funds really quickly.

“Council staff from all areas of the authority have been drafted in to support the application process and we now have 27 officers working on the grants scheme. They will be continuing to work over the Easter break to maintain the momentum – we recognise how vitally important these grants will be to businesses at this time.

“We estimate that there are around 6,000 businesses in South Lakeland eligible for the Small Business or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants, and we’ve now had 3,281 applying in the first two weeks.

“Any businesses that have yet to apply can check online about eligibility criteria and to access the application form.”

Businesses can find more information and an application form at: 

SLDC Coronavirus (Covid-19) Business Support Grants

Businesses that fall under one of the following categories and believe they are eligible for the funding are being invited to complete the form:

  • small business rate relief recipient
  • rural rate relief recipient
  • expanded retail discount scheme recipient

Please note that completing this form does not mean a business is eligible for the grants available, but it will allow the council to check details against its rating list and make a determination of eligibility against the criteria laid out by government:

  • those eligible should receive the payment within seven working days from receipt of a valid application
  • any businesses that apply but are not eligible will be sent an email setting out why they do not meet the criteria set out by government and will be signposted to other support they may be eligible for


Applying businesses will need to provide the reference number from a business rates bill to complete the grant application.

  • please ensure you have your reference number to hand. If you are the registered rates payer you will receive a rates bill, even if you are zero-rated for rates. The reference number will appear on any of your rates bills, you do not need your most recent bill.
  • this is an important security measure to protect the applicant against the risk of fraud and to ensure that SLDC can validate the recipient’s identity and entitlement to the grant.
  • for security reasons SLDC will not be able to give this information out over the phone, but can issue a duplicate bill to your registered business address if required.
  • the £10k and £25k grant schemes are separate to the business rates relief schemes also announced by government.

These business rates reliefs apply to eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses (including those that have closed temporarily due to the Government advice on Coronavirus) and 100 per cent rate relief is available for a period of 12 months.

SLDC will apply this relief automatically to business rates bills for 2020/21 and businesses do not need to apply for this. New bills with applied relief are being issued shortly. SLDC has also taken the decision not to collect business rates direct debits in April to allow the new reliefs to be applied before any payments are due.