Millions of pounds in extra funding available to charity shops after lobbying success

Charity sector bodies have successfully lobbied to increase the amount of funding charity shops can apply for.

The Charity Retail Association and Charity Tax Group had urged ministers to increase the limit on how much funding the shops are able to unlock to mitigate around closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK government had been applying EU rules from last year even though they had been amended in Europe to make them more generous.

This has been costing charities potentially millions of pounds in grants.

But following successful lobbying the caps have been lifted from £860,000 to £1.93m in lockdown grants plus the additional limit of £2.57m has been increased to £9m.

The Charity Tax Group has urged government officials to ensure councils update their guidance and claiming processes as soon as possible.

“We are pleased the Government has listened to us,” said Charity Tax Group acting chair Richard Bray.

“For charities with large property portfolios in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors this will be worth up to £1m and possibly more.

“It will provide essential support at a time of great financial difficulty. It is now crucial that local authorities allow charities to make claims as soon as possible as there are deadlines for claims to be made at the end of March and May. We will do all in our power to make sure that happens.”

Robin Osterley, Charity Retail Association chair, added: “This change is great news for charity shops and the charities they help support.

“The previous cap on the maximum amount one charity could receive meant many thousands of charity shops were being denied any business grant support which was putting the future of shops at risk.

“This announcement unlocks millions in additional Covid-19 grants to support charity shops to bounce back from the lockdown. In addition to charity shops a wide range of other retail and hospitality businesses will benefit meaning this is also a major boost to our High Streets.”

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