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Covid Recovery support for businesses from the Valleys Taskforce

Credit: RCT Council

New funding secured from the Valleys Taskforce is now available to provide Covid Recovery support to businesses in 28 local retail areas across Rhondda Cynon Taf – that builds on an existing grant launched in December 2020 for town centres.

Around 700 small and medium-size businesses across the County Borough will this week receive a letter from the Council to outline the new funding, and details about how to apply. As a result of the new funding, businesses in 28 identified community retail areas – as well as traders in our eight town centres – can now apply for up to £10,000 support, from one of two grants.

The Valleys Taskforce Covid Recovery Grant for Smaller Town Centres is a fund that is now being made available to help businesses undertake ‘Covid-secure’ improvements. The fund will be available for businesses in 28 communities (rather than being restricted to town centres), allowing bids for a grant of up to £10,000 which can contribute to 100% of the overall cost. It can also be used for internal as well as external works or measures. The Council began inviting applications from January 25, 2021.

The existing Town Centre Covid-19 Recovery Grant, launched in December 2020, is aimed at helping town centre businesses utilise outdoor spaces for ‘Covid-secure’ trading, through funding to improve social distancing provision. Businesses can use the grant to undertake external work or other measures, which may include introducing café furniture, canopies, lighting or heating in outdoor spaces. A £10,000 grant can be applied for, contributing 80% of the overall cost. This Welsh Government Transforming Towns fund (in 2020/21) remains open for applications.

Eligible locations for each grant are listed below. Businesses can access more information, check eligibility and apply online via the Council’s website here.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “Helping local businesses through this very difficult period continues to be a priority for the Council – and an important element of our support is advising traders on the grants that are available to them, and how they can access them as quickly as possible.

“Cabinet Members have previously agreed plans to refocus several of its existing business support grants in response to the severe weather events last year and the ongoing pandemic – to make them more relevant to the current situation. These included changing the eligibility criteria for the Enterprise Investment Fund and the Town Centre Maintenance Grant, for example, to include improvements that facilitate social distancing.

“Alongside this, a Town Centre Covid-19 Recovery Grant was established to provide up to £10,000 capital funding for ‘Covid-secure’ work by businesses, to improve social distancing provision in outdoor spaces. Now, funding has been made available from the Valleys Taskforce to effectively extend this fund to businesses operating in smaller retail areas, as well as our town centres.

“From January 25, the Council began writing to around 700 businesses in 28 identified retail areas across the County Borough, who could now be eligible for the new funding. I’d urge all qualifying businesses in Rhondda Cynon Taf to find out more about the two funds, view eligibility and apply online now.”