The government has announced the introduction of COVID-19 Restart Grants to provide support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses in England.

Grants of up to £6,000 will be paid to non-essential retail business premises, to help them reopen safely. Grants of up to £18,000 will be allocated to hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym business premises, which may open later under plans set out in the Governments roadmap and will be more impacted by restrictions when they do reopen. The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses that are predominantly reliant on delivering in-person services for the general public in the aforementioned sectors.

The Restart Grant is a one-off grant for each eligible hereditament, the grant award is based upon the business type and the rateable value of the hereditament as follows:

  Rateable Value of exactly £15,000 or under Rateable Value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 Rateable Value of exactly £51,000 or over
Non-Essential Retail £2,667 £4,000 £6,000
Hospitality, Accommodation, Leisure, Personal Care and Gyms £8,000 £12,000 £18,000

Businesses will be eligible for this support from 1 April 2021.

The application closure date for this scheme is 30 June 2021.

Strand One: up to £6,000 per hereditament Non-essential retail

For the purposes of this scheme, a non-essential retail business can be defined as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public
  • businesses that were likely to have been required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown
  • businesses that had retail services restricted during January lockdown
  • businesses that sell directly to consumers

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses
Non-essential retail (up to £6k)
  • Betting offices
  • Department stores
  • Markets (other than livestock)
  • Sales kiosks
  • Showrooms e.g. kitchen, bathroom, tile, glazing
  • Tobacco and vape stores
  • Antiques stores
  • Sales offices
  • Travel agents
  • Electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • Clothes shops
  • Book shops
  • Jewellers
  • Stationery shops
  • Gift shops
  • Make-up shops
  • Auction rooms
  • Car auction
  • Car showrooms
  • Car supermarkets
  • Car washes (standalone)
  • Car/caravan
  • Sales/display/hiring Sites
  • Charity shops
  • Carpet stores
  • Furniture shops
  • Sofa shops
  • Homeware shops
  • Florists
  • Plant nurseries
  • Animal groomers
  • Sweet shops
  • Photography studios

For these purposes, the definition of a non-essential retail business should exclude:

  • Food retailers, including food markets
  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Corners shops
  • Off licences
  • Breweries
  • Pharmacies
  • Chemists
  • Newsagents
  • Animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
  • Building merchants
  • Petrol stations
  • Vehicle repair and MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Education providers including tutoring services
  • Banks, building societies and other financial providers
  • Post offices
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical practices
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supply shops
  • Garden centres
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Wholesalers
  • Employment agencies and businesses
  • Office buildings
  • Automatic car washes
  • Mobility support shops

Strand Two: up to £18,000 per hereditament

Hospitality

For the purposes of this scheme, a hospitality business can be defined as a business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person food and drink services to the general public
  • Businesses that provide food and drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses
Hospitality (up to £18k)
  • Food courts
  • Public houses and pub restaurants
  • Restaurants
  • Roadside restaurants
  • Wine bars
  • Cafes

For these purposes, the definition of a hospitality retail business should exclude food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway (not applicable to those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions, in alignment with previous COVID-19 business grant schemes).

Leisure

For the purposes of this scheme, a leisure business can be defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences, and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • businesses that may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • businesses that may rely on seasonal labour
  • businesses that may assume particular public safety responsibilities
  • businesses that may operate with irregular hours through day, night, and weekends

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses
Leisure (up to £18k)
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Casinos and gambling clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Ice rinks
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Roller skating rings
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres Zoos and safari parks
  • Amusement parks
  • Pleasure piers
  • Pavilions
  • Conference centres
  • Exhibition centres including for use as banquet halls and other events
  • Wedding venues
  • Events venues
  • Heritage railways
  • Public halls
  • Night clubs & discotheques
  • Hostess bars
  • Sexual entertainment venues
  • Shisha bars, waterpipe consumption venues 
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls
  • Go kart rinks
  • Model villages
  • Tourist attractions
  • Aquaria
  • Miniature railways
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades including adult gaming centres
  • Animal attractions at farms
  • Wildlife centres
  • Botanical gardens
  • Circus
  • Visitor attractions at film studios
  • Soft play centres or areas
  • Indoor riding centres
  • Clubs & institutions
  • Village halls and scout huts, cadet huts etc.

For these purposes, the definition of a leisure business should exclude: all retail businesses, coach tour operators, tour operators and telescopes.

Accommodation

For the purposes of this scheme, an accommodation business can be defined as a business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel, and other purposes.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • businesses that provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes.
  • businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes.

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses
Accommodation (up to £18k)
  • Caravan parks
  • Caravan sites and pitches
  • Chalet parks
  • Coaching inns
  • Country house hotels
  • Guest and boarding houses
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Lodges 
  • Holiday apartments, cottages, or bungalows
  • Campsites
  • Boarding houses
  • Canal boats or other vessels
  • B&Bs
  • Catered holiday homes
  • Holiday homes

For these purposes, the definition of an accommodation business should exclude private dwellings, education accommodation, residential homes, care homes, residential family centres, beach huts.

Gym and sports

For the purposes of this scheme, a gym and sport business can be defined as a commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis, using exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction, or where individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities are participated in competitively or recreationally.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • businesses that offer in-person exercise and sport activities to the general public
  • businesses that open to members of the public paying an entry or membership fee
  • businesses that require extensive cleaning protocols, which significantly slow down trade
  • businesses that offer exercise classes or activities, which may mandate space and no masks etc.

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses
Gyms and sport (up to £18k)
  • Dance schools and centres
  • Dance studios
  • Gymnasia/fitness suites
  • Cricket centres
  • Ski centres
  • Sports and leisure centres
  • Outdoor sports centres
  • Outdoor adventure centres
  • Squash courts
  • Tennis centres
  • Sports courts
  • Swimming pools
  • Shooting and archery venues
  • Driving ranges
  • Water sport centres
  • Golf courses

For these purposes, the definition of a gym and sport business should exclude: home gyms, home exercise studios, home sports courts and home sports grounds.

Personal care

For the purposes of this scheme, a personal care business can be defined as a business which provides a service, treatment, or activity for the purposes of personal beauty, hair, grooming, body care and aesthetics, and wellbeing.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • businesses that deliver in-person holistic, beauty and hair treatments
  • businesses that provide services such as tattoos and piercings
  • businesses that offer close-contact services, which are required to deliver the treatment
  • businesses that offer services, treatments or activities that require social distancing and cleaning protocols, which have led to a reduction in their capacity to deliver personal care services

This table sets out types of businesses that are eligible under the sector thresholds for this scheme.

Support type Types of businesses

Personal care (up to £18k)

  • Spas, sauna, and steam rooms
  • Tanning salons
  • Nail salons
  • Massage centres, massage treatments
  • Tattoo and piercing studios
  • Holistic therapy (reflexology, massage, acupuncture)
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Barbers, groomers
  • Beauty salons
  • Beauticians, aesthetics
  • Other non-surgical treatments

For these purposes, the definition of a personal care business should exclude:

  • businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services
  • businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices, and others
  • businesses providing dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health

Eligibility criteria

Your business may be eligible if it is:

  • based in England
  • rate-paying
  • in the non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care or gym sectors
  • trading on 1 April 2021

Exclusions

You cannot get funding if your business:

  • is in administration, insolvent or has been struck off the Companies House register
  • has exceeded the permitted subsidy allowance

COVID-19 Business Grant Subsidy allowance

The new domestic subsidy allowance for the COVID-19 business support grants took effect on 4 March 2021. Applications made prior to that date are subject to the previous rules.

This scheme is covered by 3 subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) over any period of 3 years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – you’re allowed up to £1,600,000
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000, provided certain conditions are met

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £10,935,000 (subject to exchange rates).

Apply

Applications for the grant have now closed.

Restart Grants Scheme Terms and Conditions

Restart Grant Scheme Privacy Notice