Discretionary Covid-19 grants not always reaching smaller rural charities
by Phillip Vincent,

Discretionary Covid-19 grants not always reaching smaller rural charities

Leading rural charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), has written to government expressing concern that smaller rural charities appear to be missing out on a discretionary grant scheme administered by councils.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund launched at the end of May was set up to support small and micro businesses and not for profit organisations during the coronavirus crisis. It was hoped this would provide relief for organisations that may have missed out on other emergency funding, especially those needing to cover the cost of premises.

In a letter to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, ACRE draws attention to the fact that some of these intended beneficiaries are falling foul of discretionary criteria being used by local authorities.

The issue was raised in response to feedback from thirty-eight county-based rural development charities who have noted that some smaller charities are not qualifying for support because of different rules being applied by local authorities – particularly with regards to the property they occupy.

ACRE has recommended government review the way these funds are being allocated and issue further guidance to councils to make sure organisations that should be benefiting are not falling through the net.

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