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Luton Borough Council

Business Restart Grant Scheme



​A new system of one-off restart grants is effective from 1 April 2021, replacing the Local Restriction Support Grants (LRSG).

It's a sector based scheme making one-off payments to businesses on the ratings list only. We're also reviewing our local Additional Business Support Grants scheme to support businesses in Luton that do not qualify for a restart grant.

The application closing date is 30 June 2021 and final payments will be made by 31 July 2021.

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The restart grant will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business.

Non essential retail premises

Can receive one-off grants of up to £6,000, to help businesses reopen safely:

  • businesses on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £2,667
  • businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £4,000
  • businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £6,000

Business in other eligible sectors

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym business premises can receive one-off grants of up to £18,000:

  • businesses on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £8,000
  • businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £12,000
  • businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over on 1 April 2021 can receive a payment of £18,000

They may open later under plans set out in the government’s roadmap and will be more impacted by restrictions when they do reopen.


To qualify for a grant, a business must:

  • be registered for business rates
  • be trading on 1 April 2021 (carrying on a trade or profession, or buying and selling goods or services in order to generate turnover)
  • not be in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a striking-off notice

As part of the application all businesses are required to self-certify that they meet all eligibility criteria.

Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum permitted subsidy allowances will not be eligible to receive funding. Read more about subsidy allowances below.

The list of businesses eligible for each grant have been categorised by business type.

Open all

A business:

  • that is open to the public and is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services
  • where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and wellbeing of the public

They meet the following criteria:

  • businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public
  • required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown
  • had retail services restricted during the January lockdown
  • they sell directly to consumers

A list of excluded business is included in guidance, such as:

  • food retailers
  • food markets
  • supermarkets
  • convenience stores
  • corners shops
  • off licence
  • breweries
  • pharmacies
  • newsagents
  • petrol stations
  • vehicle repair
  • bicycle shops
  • taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • education providers including tutoring services
  • banks
  • building societies and other financial providers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical practices
  • veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • agricultural supply shops
  • garden centres
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • wholesalers
  • employment agencies and businesses
  • office buildings
  • automatic car washes
  • mobility support shops

A business whose main function is to provide a venue for the consumption and sale of food and drink.

They meet the following criteria:

  • offering in person food and drink services to the general public
  • they provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, including outdoors

Food kiosks and businesses whose main service is a takeaway are excluded (not including those that have adapted to offer takeaways during periods of restrictions).

A business that provides opportunities, experiences and facilities, in particular for:

  • culture
  • recreation
  • entertainment
  • celebratory events
  • days and nights out
  • betting
  • gaming

They meet the following criteria

  • they may provide in-person intangible experiences in addition to goods
  • businesses that may rely on seasonal labour
  • they may assume particular public safety responsibilities
  • may operate with irregular hours through day, night and weekends

Within the definition, the following business are excluded:

  • all retail businesses
  • coach tour operators
  • tour operators
  • telescopes

A business whose main lodging provision is used for holiday, travel and other purposes.

They meet the following criteria:

  • they provide accommodation for ‘away from home’ stays for work or leisure purposes
  • businesses that provide accommodation for short-term leisure and holiday purposes
Within the definition, the following are excluded:
  • private dwellings
  • education accommodation
  • residential homes
  • care homes
  • residential family centres
  • beach huts
A commercial or non-profit establishment where physical exercise or training is conducted on an individual basis or group basis that either:
  • uses exercise equipment or open floor space with or without instruction
  • offers individual and group sporting, athletic and physical activities that are participated in competitively or recreationally

They meet the following criteria:

  • they offer in-person exercise and sport activities to the general public
  • are open to members of the public paying an entry or membership fee
  • extensive cleaning protocols are required, which slow down trade
  • they offer exercise classes or activities, which may mandate space and no masks etc

The definition excludes:

  • home gyms
  • exercise studios
  • courts
  • sports grounds
A business which provides a service, treatment or activity for the purposes of:
  • personal beauty
  • hair
  • grooming
  • body care and aesthetics
  • wellbeing

They meet the following criteria:

  • they deliver in-person holistic, beauty and hair treatments
  • businesses that provide services such as tattoos and piercings
  • they offer close contact services, which are required to deliver the treatment
  • services, treatments or activities require social distancing and cleaning protocols, which have led to a reduction in their capacity

Within the definition, the following are excluded:

  • businesses that only provide personal care goods, rather than services
  • businesses used solely as training centres for staff, apprentices and others
  • businesses providing dental services
  • opticians
  • audiology services
  • chiropody
  • chiropractors
  • osteopaths and other medical or health services
  • including services which incorporate personal care services, treatments required
    by those with disabilities and services relating to mental health

​New rules on grant subsidy allowances

New national rules on grant subsidy allowances came into effect on 4 March 2021, which recipients of Covid-19 business grants schemes need to follow.

These replace previous requirements to comply with EU state aid rules.

Here is a broad summary of those requirements. Grant applicants will need to consult their own financial advisers if they have any questions about whether they comply with the government’s new rules on subsidy allowances.

  • Under the ‘small amounts of financial assistance allowance’, a single economic actor must not receive more than £335,000 in grants over any three-year fiscal period.
  • In cases where this threshold is reached, there is a further ‘Covid-19 business grant allowance’ of a further £1,600,000 per single economic actor.
  • Beyond this threshold, there is a ‘Covid-19 business grant special allowance’ where applicants may be able to access a further allowance of funding up to a further £9,000,000 per single economic actor, subject to conditions.

How to apply

Please apply for the Business Restart Grant below.


Apply for a Business Restart Grant

© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ