Hospitality businesses have been left out in the cold by a new scheme to help them during the latest stage of the coronavirus crisis, councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood have said.

Pints of beer. Picture: U3144362

The Government unveiled the Omicron Leisure and Hospitality Grants programme on 21st December.

But Labour councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood say the funding – which is designed to provide up to £6,000 to eligible businesses – has not yet been handed over for distribution.

Cllr Darren Ennis, representative for the Chasetown ward at Lichfield District Council, said delays were putting jobs at risk.

“Pubs, clubs and hospitality in general have struggled through the pandemic and these small grants help with their survival – but there is no point announcing them if they are going to take weeks or months to get the money to these businesses.

“We will carry on making sure our local hospitality sector gets the support and help they deserve and are kept informed, but the Government needs to work a little quicker.”

Cllr Darren Ennis, Lichfield District Council

Last year Cllr Ennis and his Labour colleague Cllr Dave Robertson led a successful campaign to close a loophole that saw members’ clubs excluded from a similar grants scheme.

Cllr Robertson said he hoped Lichfield District Council would ensure a similar situation is not allowed to happen when the latest round of funding arrives.

“Last year we found the perverse situation where members clubs weren’t allowed to apply for a Christmas support payment.

“Both Darren and I were proud to stand up for members’ clubs then, but this year the council should make sure that any loopholes get closed.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

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