Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs

On 1 December 2020, the Government announced the introduction of additional support over the festive period for wet-led pubs in areas under Tier 2 or 3 restrictions.

The Christmas Support Payment grant is a one-off grant of £1,000 for each rateable hereditament, payable to wet-led pubs in Local Authority areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions for all or part of the period between 2 and 29 December 2020.

Final applications must be received by Local Authorities by 31 January 2021.

Eligibility

There is no definitive description of a traditional pub or public house in law that could be readily used by Local Authorities to determine eligibility. However, for the purposes of this grant, pubs should under normal circumstances (without local or national restrictions) be described as:

  • open to the general public
  • allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
  • allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • permit drinks to be purchased at a bar

For these purposes, the definition of a pub excludes: restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guesthouses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls and casinos.

For the purposes of this grant, a wet-led pub is defined as a pub that, in normal circumstances, derives less than 50% of its income from sales of food.

Businesses must have been trading on 30 November (the day before this scheme was announced) to be eligible to receive funding under this scheme.

Businesses must confirm that by receiving and accepting this grant they shall not exceed the relevant allowable state aid threshold and that the grant will be repayable if the business exceeds any relevant limit on state aid or otherwise allowable levels of state aid.

Recipients should be the ratepayer and may be liable for recovery if the recipient was not the ratepayer on the eligible day.

How to apply

In the first instance, the ratepayer should apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant if they have not already done so.

From there, public houses and bars will be invited to apply for Christmas Support Payment through the Local Restrictions Support Grant system.