Further support coming for businesses in Warwick district
With the announcement that Warwick district will remain in Tier 3 for the remainder of this year, Warwick District Council’s Finance team are working hard behind the scenes to implement the latest Government grants to eligible businesses impacted by current restrictions. With three different grant schemes to administer, known as Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), the Council are hopeful that applications and payments can begin in the run up to Christmas to provide as much support as possible to businesses.
The three grants will open for businesses that:
In addition, businesses can still apply for the second national lockdown grant payment for the 5 November – 2 December period if they have not already applied for this.
If businesses eligible for LRSG closed or LRSG sector have received their second national lockdown grant payment, they will automatically receive their new grant payment once the schemes go live and will not need to re-apply. These payments will be backdated to 2 December when the tier 3 restrictions came in to force.
Councillor Richard Hales, Portfolio Holder for Business & Finance, said: “We recognise that at what would usually be a busy and bustling time for many of our businesses, this year is different and they need all of the support we can give them.
“I would urge all businesses to ensure they are up to date with the current grants that they are eligible for, and to keep a close eye on the District Council’s website for further updates when these grant payments go live.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to the Business and Finance teams at the Council, BID Leamington and the Chamber of Trades for their continued efforts this year to support our local businesses.”
All information on these grants, as well as any future updates, is available at www.warwickdc.gov.uk/localrestrictionsgrants
Local rapid Covid-19 testing to be rolled out in Leamington
Locally led testing for people without coronavirus symptoms is set to be rolled out in the Warwick District next week with the aim of protecting those most at risk.
The test centre will be in addition to the testing facilities already running in Water Orton, Nuneaton and Bedworth. Those using the site will be tested using fast-turnaround lateral flow test kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace in a bid to identify undiagnosed cases and stop people 'unwittingly spreading the virus'.
The centres, which are being delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, Warwickshire County Council, Warwick District Council, and a network including volunteers, aims to help us work towards returning life to as normal as possible.
The tests will be available for those without symptoms of Covid-19 from Tuesday 22 December at the Adult and Community Learning site on Pound Lane in Lillington, Leamington Spa
The tests are available for booking between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. The service uses the fast turnaround lateral flow test kits, which can deliver results in around an hour. Tests can be booked here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/leamington-covid-community-testing-32065805335
Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of people without symptoms, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus and break the chains of transmission.
Please note, only people without Covid-19 symptoms should book a test. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change to their sense of taste or smell – must self-isolate and book a test via .www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 as usual
Talking about the test facility for the Warwick District, Director of Public Health at Warwickshire County Council, Dr Shade Agboola said: “This is the fourth site to open in Warwickshire to the local community and we have plans to roll out additional test
centres in Rugby and Stratford early in the new year. To date over 1, 600 tests have been carried out at our test sites and we have received some great feedback.
The new testing facility for the Warwick District will play a key role in tackling Covid-19. By testing people who don’t have symptoms, we are hoping to identify those who are not aware that they have the virus and may be unwittingly spreading it to other people - including friends, loved ones and work colleagues. By breaking the chain of transmission and picking up those who are asymptomatic, we hope that we will reduce the spread of the virus and protect those who are most at risk.
“The tests are really simple to do using a swab from your nose and mouth, and you will be supported throughout the process by the test centre staff. Results are quick and should you test positive, help and advice is available at
. Only by working together can we make a difference, so please play your part, support your community and go along to your nearest testing facility and get a free test.”
The Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day said:
“We can stop the virus in its tracks by getting tested, even if we don’t have any coronavirus symptoms. Join me to protect our families and loved ones, by booking a quick and easy test at this new local facility. Together we’ll have the peace of mind that we’re not going to unwittingly pass on COVID-19 this Christmas and will keep our most vulnerable safe through the winter months ahead.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.
“Innovations such as lateral flow testing holds the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.
“I’m delighted that Warwickshire County Council along with colleagues Warwick District Council are working with us to pilot the latest technology in Leamington and Warwick, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, both in helping target the virus locally, and helping find ways to roll this technology out further soon.”
Additional tests sites are also being planned for Rugby and Stratford in the new year.
For Covid advice and support, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk
There is welcome news for some local businesses, with the launch of two new grant support initiatives through Warwick District Council.
From Friday 4 December, qualifying hospitality and leisure businesses which have been mandated to close due to Tier 3 restrictions, can apply for a one-off payment of £2000 through the Additional Restrictions Grant Discretionary Scheme.
In addition, from Monday 14 December, eligible businesses can also claim a grant of up to £1500 (depending on their rateable value) through the Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme (Closed Businesses) to cover every 14-day period from 2 December for which they have been forced to close. Successful applicants will continue to receive these payments on a fortnightly cycle until the local restrictions are ended.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Business, Councillor Richard Hales commented;
“Whilst we realise that this support may be a drop in the ocean for the many cafes, restaurants, pubs, attractions, venues and leisure facilities which have been required to remain closed after 2 December, I would urge them to claim the funding available to them.”
The Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day commented;
“The Council fully understands the importance of the hospitality and leisure sector to the district’s economy, which is why we are pressing the government to lift the Tier 3 restrictions imposed on us at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we will do everything we can to support these businesses during these extremely difficult times.”
The Chair of Kenilworth Chamber of Trade Sarah Kershaw, commented;
“Having understood the huge disappointment faced by our evening hospitality, pubs, restaurants and cafes, forced to close due to Tier 3 restrictions, we want to thank Warwick District Council for their hard work in identifying local business needs and their efforts to deliver essential assistance efficiently and speedily. I hope these grants will offer some comfort to those businesses and their staff
All blogs are written or edited by Cllr Pam Redford & Cllr Trevor Wright