The government has released new funding of £617m for co-working space tenants and other businesses in England who aren’t being given funding through the coronavirus business rates grant scheme. The funds are to deliver £10- £25,000 grants to companies 

Over the last few weeks TechSPARK with Business West, Bristol Tech Festival & Engine Shed have been lobbying hard for funding like this. We’ve seen over 400 local businesses sign a petition to ask the government for help.  

We’ve been working closely with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), including speaking directly to the Small Business Minister, Paul Scully MP and his advisors, to show why this funding is needed. 

Ben Shorrock TechSPARKs MD said ‘Many of the businesses in coworking hubs are exactly the types of organisations who are driving the tech sector in the region. Its great government has recognised their importance and created this fund. It’s now key we work with local governments to make sure it gets to the people who need it.”

Marina Traversari, Chair of Bristol Tech Festival “Bristol is full of startups who are struggling in these un-precedented times. We’re pleased to see the government creating this fund to help the businesses who will be key as we recover and help build on the dynamism of Bristol’s tech scene”

The government has said this fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs, prioritising businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

However local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Over the next few days, we’ll continue to work closely with the four local authorities in the West of England about the details of the scheme and how to apply to make sure it reaches the people that need it.