Facilities Fund

Government Advice for Clubs/Facilities Facing a Loss of Income

The emergency Covid-19 legislation, the ‘Coronavirus Bill’ and the information released in relation to its contents currently offers limited detail for organisations and small businesses such as our Kent clubs and facilities around the steps being implemented to help mitigate the impact they face as a result of a loss of income.

This is of course subject to further announcements that may provide further information as well as amendments made as it passes through the House of Commons and receives royal assent to become law.

However, separate government action announced by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary, as well as the Chancellor on behalf of the Treasury, might provide some relief and help to those facing a loss of income.

Support Announced from The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government 

  • Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak. Currently, planning permission is required for businesses to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway.
  • The government has confirmed regulations will be relaxed to enable businesses to deliver this service without a planning application. This will apply for a limited period.  - This could allow some clubs or sports facilities with premises certificates to open and serve takeaway food that can be consumed away from the site.

Business Support Announced from The Treasury 

It is advised following the Chancellors statement last week, that clubs and facilities within Kent review the current business rate relief and grants outlined below, as well as the other measures being implemented. It is essential to note that the government have defined leisure facilities to include sports grounds and clubs, sports and leisure facilities and clubhouses:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday is being introduced which will apply to all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses. 
  • The government have made grant funding available of £25,000.00 for the hospitality and leisure facility businesses who have property with a rateable value between £15,000.00 and £51,000.00.  - businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000.00, will be entitled to receive a grant of £10,000.00. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Enquiries relating to eligibility should be directed to your local authority or Kent County Council
  • Clubs and facilities struggling with outstanding tax liabilities and those that are potentially in financial destress may be eligible to receive additional support through HMRC’s dedicated ‘Time to Pay’ Service. There is a dedicated telephone number (0800 0159 559), to help with deferrals and payment scheduling.
  • Government legislation has been brought forward to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to claim statutory sick pay paid for absences due to Covid-19. Employers with less than 250 staff are eligible.
  • Clubs and facilities with insurance for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered. The impact of government advice on mass gatherings in terms of insurance is yet to be confirmed and we advise all clubs and facilities to check their own individual insurance policies.
  • The government are supporting all businesses by deferring VAT payments for 3 months. The VAT deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Other Government Support 

For clubs and facilities that are experiencing a loss of income, the following government intervention might also provide some relief:

  • The government will pay 80% of the salary of staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages up to £2,500.00 a month.

Information from Kent County Council

Kent County Council recently issued its latest version of the ‘inside track’, which is a special edition focused on the support available as a result of Covid-19. The publication includes information from external grants and funds that have been set up and are available for small businesses. Some of these grants and funds could be available for clubs and facilities to access and be eligible for. For further information, please see the link to the inside track below:


Please note that advice, guidance and information is changing on a daily basis. For the latest information, please keep checking the ‘Government Guidance to Employers and Businesses About Covid-19’ page and the ‘Covid-19 Support for Businesses’ page which can be found here: