£40m emergency fund created for Liverpool’s hospitality businesses

Liverpool ONE in August
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A £40m package to support hospitality and leisure businesses in Liverpool City Region has been launched in the wake of tighter coronavirus restrictions being put in place last week.

They included banning people mixing with other households in indoor venues, including pubs, bars and restaurants, while many hospitality businesses are already struggling to be profitable with the social distancing and 10pm curfew rules in place.

A joint statement by metro-mayor Steve Rotheram and the leaders of the six local authorities in Liverpool City Region said their teams “have worked at full tilt” to identify and re-purpose funds for an up to £40million in to a package of emergency interim financial support for the hospitality and leisure sector.

They said: “We have taken this extremely difficult decision with the aim of providing last resort, stop-gap funding to keep viable businesses going in the short-term and protect as many jobs as possible while we continue to lobby the Government to invest in our economic survival and our future recovery.”

The Government announced £7m support to be shared by Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough when stricter rules were announced for those areas last week. The City Region leaders said they “are doing everything we can to convince the Government to help” and provide a comprehensive package of support for the economy.

The Liverpool City Region fund will be coordinated through local authorities, which also managed the Government grants that were earlier this year.

The joint statement added: “As leaders of the Liverpool City Region, we all understand why further restrictions may be needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the communities we represent.

“But we also know that at the same time they will deal a hammer blow to our economy and in particular to our vital hospitality and leisure sector, on which over 50,000 jobs depend across our region.

“We want to send a message to those businesses that we understand the pain you are going through, your fight to survive and that we stand with you.”

The fund is expected to launch this week and it hopes to process applications within a week “to meet the urgent needs of successful applicants”.