Govt publicizes additional thousands and thousands of kilos for companies …


Millions of pounds will be provided by the Government to provide extra financial support to businesses struggling inside the Leicester lockdown zone.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a £3 million fund for firms in the city and in Oadby and Wigston who have been unable to reopen because of the tighter restrictions imposed in the area to stem the spread of coronavirus infections.

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Government announces extra millions of pounds for businesses …

About announces

Politicians and business leaders have been calling for extra cash for businesses since the UK’s first local lockdown came into force at the beginning of July after it was warned that an entire sector of the city’s economy was on the brink of collapse.

Now Mr Hancock has written to Conservative Harborough MP Neil O’Brien saying £400,000 would be made available in Oadby and Wigston ‘to deal with the added pressures the measures we have taken have placed on these businesses’.

Government announces extra millions of pounds for businesses …

Ahead of a review of the Leicester lockdown, the secretary of state said the city council will get £2.6 million to administer on top of the £85 million it got to support businesses in March when the entire country was placed in lockdown.

Mr Hancock said: “I absolutely understand the huge implications remaining in lockdown has meant for your constituents and those in the city and I’m grateful for you constructive approach in such difficult circumstances.

“I hope this funding will provide some much-needed relief for local businesses in this challenging time.”

Mr O’Brien said: “This is very welcome. I would like it to have happened before now but at least the businesses that have been really struggling can get this money in their bank accounts.”

He said he had been in behind-the-scenes discussions with senior figures in the Government for weeks on the matter.

Leicester South MP and Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said: “I spoke directly to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak about Leicester businesses and jobs so I’m pleased ministers have recognised and agreed extra support.”

“It’s not as much as we were hoping for, but it will go some way to helping protect jobs through the lockdown.”

“Of course, to get the economy moving again we need to see lockdown restrictions eased when it is safe to do. We’re hoping ministers recognise the advances Leicester has made in bringing infection rates down.”

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “It is pleasing at last that the Secretary of State is delivering the support he promised many many weeks ago.

“It is welcome but we think £2.4 million is just a small proportion of what businesses in the city need.”

He said the council still had £10 million of the £85 million of earlier funding left unallocated from the Government business support grants.

He called for that to be released to firms rather than it being returned to the Treasury.

Latest Leicester lockdown updates are available here