Local Authority Discretionary Fund


Sunday is the deadline for businesses across the Forest of Dean to apply for grants from the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

This fund is part of a 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund – meaning extra funding delivered from central Government to the Forest of Dean District Council.

This funding was delivered by the Treasury and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to help businesses that may not have been able to apply for grants originally, something I called for in Parliament and had raised with Ministers.

In line with central Government guidance, the fund will prioritise the following types of businesses:

• Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, who do not have their own Business Rates assessment
• Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own Business Rates assessment
• Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of Business Rates
• Charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

However it is ultimately at the District Council’s discretion as to which businesses are eligible. In this instance, the District Council is using its local discretion to also include 'Businesses that supply goods or services to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses'.

I have regularly been engaging with the District Council and I know they have been working hard to distribute this central Government funding over the past weeks.