Almost 70 small charities within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector in Bridgend county borough have received a total of £680,000 between them from a Welsh Government business rates support grant to help them respond to the financial challenges of Covid-19.

So far, the council has awarded a total of 68 grants of £10,000 each.

The grant scheme is aimed at small charities which have properties within the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, including charity-run shops, sports premises and community centres.

Bridgend County Borough Council deputy leader Hywel Williams said: “Charities play a crucial role in the wellbeing of all our communities with many having been instrumental in helping the most vulnerable over the last few months.

“These vital funds will help them deal with some of the financial pressures they are facing due to the coronavirus crisis.”

Heidi Bennett, chief executive of the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO), said: “Just like the private sector, charity retail has been hit hard and volunteer-led community centres across the borough have also struggled to meet fixed costs as they haven’t been able to rent out their venues.

“This funding has been hugely valued by the local charity sector; indeed for some, it has been crucial to their survival.”

The scheme closed to new applications on June 30 and applications were restricted to a maximum of two properties within the county borough area, but were not available to organisations that had already received a £10,000 grant from the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

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