Discretionary grants

Updated 22 February 2021

Prior to closing the ARG discretionary grant scheme on Monday 15 February we received 1,551 applications. Having reviewed applications, 480 met our priority criteria which means £1.8m in grants will be processed and paid to these businesses.

We are now reviewing the remaining 1,071 applications and will make an announcement this week on how we will approach these. It is our current intention to try and pay as many businesses as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

Plymouth City Council has been allocated a total of £7.57 million to support local businesses through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). More than £1.7 million has already been distributed to help businesses that struggled during the November lockdown

The discretionary funding is intended to support businesses that cannot claim from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, which gives grants to rate-paying businesses that have been forced to close due to the national restrictions.


Businesses may be eligible to apply for financial support through the ARG if they:

  • Have been legally required to close under current national restrictions but were not eligible for the LRSG as they do not pay business rates, or pay packaged rent and rates
  • Have not been legally required to close but have suffered a significant loss in turnover as a result of the national restrictions.

Due to the limited amount of funding available, the Council will prioritise the following types of businesses when distributing the grants:

  • Fishing businesses
  • Childcare providers
  • Tradespeople and businesses who supply businesses that are required to close (e.g. retail and hospitality)
  • Creative and event businesses
  • Businesses that pay packaged rent and rates and are required to shut, or supply businesses that have been required to close
  • Businesses with high fixed costs that haven’t been able to claim from any previous grant schemes.

The Council is prioritising in order to help as many businesses as possible, however it is likely that the Government funding may not meet the demands for help. 

In order to apply for a grant, businesses will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Must have been trading on or before 4 January 2021
  • Must be a micro or small business with up to 50 employees
  • Must have ongoing fixed monthly business costs in Plymouth (for example rents, wages, mooring fees or utilities)
  • Can confirm they have been significantly affected by coronavirus (at least a 30 per cent loss in income)
  • If a home based business in Plymouth, they must be registered with HMRC and provide their Company Unique Taxpayer Reference as well as a copy of their most recent tax return. 

Businesses will not be eligible for funding if they have exceeded state subsidy limits or are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off order has been made. Certain types of businesses will also not be considered eligible, including ‘home sharing’ businesses, buy to let properties and premises that are used for personal use only (for example, riding stables).


Due to the high volume of applications received so far, the application process for the ARG discretionary grant will close at 5pm on Monday 15 February. 

Businesses must complete a new application, even if they have received a discretionary grant during previous lockdowns.

Priority will be given to businesses with high fixed costs (e.g. over £500 per month) and applications from businesses that have not received any other support to date. You will need to provide evidence that you have fixed costs (e.g. a recent bank statement). These fixed costs may include, for example: 

  • Lease agreements for equipment and machinery
  • Rent
  • Vehicle costs (where there is no personal use)
  • Insurances
  • Packaged rate and rents
  • Mooring fees.

Grant applications have now closed.

Grant payments

The grants awarded are one-off payments intended to support businesses through the third national lockdown which started on 5 January 2021.

Businesses that do not pay rates will be eligible for a grant of £3,000.

Rate-paying businesses that have not been forced to close but are still significantly affected can claim the following grants:

  • for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £4,200
  • for properties with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, grants to be £6,300
  • for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £9,400  .

Only one discretionary grant will be awarded to any business per lockdown, but if businesses operate from multiple Plymouth premises they may be eligible for additional payments.

The grants are intended to help with fixed business costs rather than to replace lost income, as there are other schemes offering this financial support. More information about these schemes can be found on the Invest Plymouth coronavirus business support page, or via the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.

Need more assistance?

More information about the business grants, including FAQs, is available on the Invest Plymouth website.

If you are unable to complete the form online or have a query that has not been answered above, please contact support by using the Business Support Grants Enquiry Form.

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