Eastbourne Borough Council is now accepting applications from businesses that are eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant. The scheme was announced by the government on 21 December in recognition of the rise in the Omicron variant and the impact it was having on those sectors.

The government defines a hospitality business as a business with a main function to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink. A leisure business is defined as a business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for culture, recreation, entertainment, celebratory events and days and nights out.

Exclusions do apply and potential applicants should visit the council website for the full eligibility criteria – www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/CovidBizGrants

Eastbourne is one of the first councils in the UK to accept applications.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “Eastbourne’s hospitality sector has suffered terribly during the pandemic and Omicron has made a bad situation even worse. This latest grant scheme is by no means a cure-all for the latest losses being experienced, but I am pleased that it is now available and I’d encourage local businesses to apply for it.

“Eastbourne is leading the local government sector for efficiency in processing grant applications, so applicants can be assured of a speedy response.”

Payments will be made as soon as the council receives its funding allocation from the Department for Business.