It’s been a challenging year for the Welsh hospitality industry so far, with lockdown and social distancing hitting the industry hard, however the eat out to help out scheme enabled many hospitality businesses saw really high demand in August.
Going forwards, as the trade hopes to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing regulations, awnings manufacturer and supplier, Lakeside, has welcomed news that a new grant will support property or business owners located in one of Bridgend county borough’s urban centres to improve their outdoor areas.
Businesses are being invited to apply now for grants of up to £10,000 for outdoor adaptations that facilitate social distancing in external areas, and the funding can be used towards a variety of adaptations ranging from outdoor awnings to outdoor furniture and planters.
Called the Urban Centre Property Enhancement: Covid-19 Recovery Fund, it provides funding of up to 80 percent of total eligible improvement costs – up to a maximum value of £10,000. A minimum of 20 percent of the total project costs will need to be met by the applicant.
Bridgend’s urban centres include the commercial core areas of Bridgend, Maesteg, Porthcawl, Pencoed and Pyle. The grant is even more important with new lockdown rules in the region which prevent mixing indoors with anyone outside your immediate household.
South Wales home improvement company, Lakeside Security, welcomed the news. Company spokesman Rhiannon Lake-Healey explains:
“As a small business ourselves, established in the South Wales community for many years now, we understand perfectly how hard the lockdown rules impacted businesses in South Wales, however since re-opening, demand for commercial awnings has been huge. In fact, our biggest challenge has been managing the volume of enquiries and installations, while operating within full social distancing rules – however, some pubs, restaurants and cafes, who recognised they needed a solution, simply could not proceed beyond the enquiry stage because of cashflow worries, having been forced to close for several months.
“This new grant will enable hospitality businesses in overcrowded urban areas to safely increase trade while improving the appearance of their outdoor areas, and will avoid their clientele being forced into cramped areas or worse, onto the street, with no appropriate facility – and the improvements made will enhance the property for many years to come, even when hopefully, COVID-19 is a thing of the past.
“We welcome this support from the Welsh Government and look forward to being able to assist even more businesses going forwards.”