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Local Authority Discretionary Grant Schemes

Delivered by Local Authority Support

In response to the Coronavirus, COVID-19, the government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, delivered through the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund.

This additional Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at some of the small and micro businesses within the North East which were not eligible for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

This Discretionary Grant Fund widens access to support to businesses who are struggling to survive due to the Coronavirus shutdown but are unable to access other grant funding.

Please see below for further information.

Northumberland County Council

This additional Discretionary Grant Fund is aimed at some of the small and micro businesses within Northumberland which were not eligible for either the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. The deadline for this is 14th June.

Find out more about the grant here.

Apply here.

Newcastle City Council

The first round of the Discretionary Business Grant Fund closed on the 15th July 2020. Round 2 of the Discretionary Business Grant Fund will open to new applications at 10am on the 27th July 2020.

We have updated our eligibility criteria for the 2nd round, with a new application form. Therefore, if your application has been refused previously, you will need to complete a new application to be considered. To be eligible for an award of £5,000 through this scheme you must satisfy the following conditions, based on your circumstances on the 11th March 2020:

  • Your business must be physically located within Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • You must satisfy one of the following criteria:
    • Your business operated from recognised business premises (e.g. office, industrial unit);
    • Your business was based from home but had a regular commercial property cost based outside of the home, but within Newcastle e.g. storage costs, market licence; room hire; hot desk membership
    • You operated a Bed & Breakfast which pays Council Tax instead of business rates
  • To be considered eligible as a Bed & Breakfast, you must be able to provide at least one form of evidence from the list below:
    • Planning permission for change of use;
    • A fire certificate obtained when setting up the B&B to get business insurance policy and public liability cover;
    • A “hotel and mobile units television licence”, which covers up to 15 televisions and can be purchased online from TV Licensing;
    • A music licence from PPL PRS Ltd, if they have a TV in public areas, such as a bar or breakfast room, which has the sound turned on;
    • A personal and premise alcohol licence, if serving alcohol;
    • Registered with Newcastle City Council’s Regulatory Services
    • An up-to-date accreditation with Visit England or the AA with a star rating
  • You must be able to demonstrate you have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid 19 crisis
  • Your business must not be eligible for any of the following grants
    • Small Business Grant Fund
    • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
    • The Fisheries Response Fund
    • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
    • The Zoos Support Fund
    • The Dairy Hardship Fund
    • North of Tyne Managed Workspace, Community Centres and VCSE Resilience fund
  • Your business must not have previously received a Discretionary Business Grant from Newcastle City Council or any other Local Authority.
  • You must have been trading on the 11th March 2020
  • Companies that are in administration, are insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made are not eligible for funding.
  • Although the UK has left the European Union, the European State Aid rules still apply during the Transition Period. Payment of this grant constitutes State Aid which is being made on the basis of a UK State aid scheme based upon the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for State aid. This can be accessed at COVID-19 Temporary Framework. A condition of this Framework is that the aid can only be granted to undertakings that were not in difficulty (within the meaning of the General Block Exemption Regulation) on 31 December 2019 or to undertakings that were not in difficulty on 31 December 2019, but that faced difficulties or entered in difficulty thereafter as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible businesses must declare that the total aid received under this scheme between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 does not exceed the relevant temporarily increased threshold of €800,000 and that you meet the relevant State Aid requirements. More information on State Aid can be found at

As part of the application process, applicants will also be expected to upload a document that evidences their property cost (e.g. a signed lease; utility bill; room hire charge; market licence) and a copy of their bank statement that corresponds with the property cost.

As funding is limited, it is unlikely we will be able to provide a grant to every business that meets the eligibility criteria. We will continue to award grants until we have fully allocated our available funding; though we have the right to close the scheme at any point.

Apply here.

Sunderland City Council

Sunderland City Council have launched their Covid-19 Discretionary Grant Fund scheme. 

To find out more information, and apply, click here.

Gateshead Council

Gateshead Council have announced their Discretionary Grant Fund to support small and micro businesses that are struggling to survive the financial implications of COVID-19.

Find out more here and apply here.


Durham County Council

This fund gives financial support to specific types of small businesses who were not eligible to apply for funding from the Small Business Grant Fund or Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund as they are not liable for business rates.

The funding for this scheme is limited and will not be able to support every business that has been excluded from previous grant schemes. 

You can aply here.

South Tyneside Council

Update to follow.

North Tyneside Council

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund in North Tyneside is now confirmed. The information can be found here.

Applications will open on Friday 5 June 2020, closing at midnight on Friday 26 June 2020. 

Tagged under Coronavirus Covid19

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