Businesses in Barrow and South Lakeland can now apply for cash grants from the government.

The scheme, administered by Barrow Borough Council South Lakeland District Council, opened to applications yesterday.

The grants are aimed at supporting some of the small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.

It will prioritise small businesses with fixed property-related costs which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Grants from £2,500 up to £10,000 will be available.

Businesses are eligible if they have been trading on March 11 and have not been eligible or received a grant from the existing Covid-19 grant schemes (excluding the Self-employed Income Support Scheme).

The grants are aimed at small or micro businesses, those with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis, and businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

A spokesperson on behalf of all councils in Cumbria said: “We are genuinely grateful that central government has enabled local councils to support their areas with further business grants.

“In Cumbria alone, we have provided grants totalling over £160 million since the pandemic struck.

“It’s also reassuring to know that the government has listened and acted upon our and our partners’ calls to include those businesses who may have not met the criteria for the scheme.

“Initially ruling out those who were eligible for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme could have led to many of our most affected businesses missing out through no fault of their own.

“Unfortunately, we realise that a number of businesses may still not be eligible and the money provided won’t support all those in need. We will continue talking to the government to ensure Cumbrian businesses get the vital help they need.”

There will be a 14-day window for applications.

Businesses can apply online on either of the councils' websites.