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Events sector support funding criteria loosened after criticism

Events sector support funding criteria loosened after criticism

Monday 15 March 2021

Events sector support funding criteria loosened after criticism

The Government has loosened the criteria for a scheme aimed at preserving the island’s covid-hit visitor attractions, and events, sectors after just a handful of businesses were successful in applying for a share of the £3.5m funding pot.

In mid-February, Express revealed that just two businesses had received a total of £15,156.45 between them after applying for the Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme (VAES), which was announced in January.

Businesses within the sector told Express the problem was that the scheme was "not fit for purpose" because the criteria was too stringent for them to be able to apply, and penned an open letter to Government on the matter.

The Government has this morning confirmed that it will be easing entry criteria to the scheme in response, admitting that take-up had been “lower than expected."

All applications received from today will be processed in line with the new scheme’s requirements. However, the Government said that anyone who applied to the old scheme will have their application processed in line with previous, more stringent requirements.

The changes are as follows.

  • Eligible businesses will need to have an annual turnover of more than £150,000 - reduced from £300,000. 
  • Eligible businesses will have experienced a detriment of 30% to their turnover as a result of public health restrictions - reduced from 50%. 
  • The requirement to be registered for GST will also be removed, bringing the VAES in line with other Government support schemes.

Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham commented: “The larger attractions and events companies provide key infrastructure that underpins our tourism and hospitality industries which, in turn, support our air and sea transport links. 

“This sector will play a vital role in the Island’s economic recovery but it has been particularly impacted by the pandemic so it’s important we provide support to sustain these businesses.”

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Don’t agree with that...these event organisations charge the earth.
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