Grants support Peterborough businesses to re-open during pandemic
One-off Government grants of up to £18,000 are being made available to businesses who are opening up again after being forced to close during the national Covid-19 lockdown.
The grants – administered by Peterborough City Council – aim to provide support for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses which are liable to pay business rates.
They could be a vital lifeline for many restaurants, beauty salons, gyms and hairdressers who have only just been allowed to re-open following a relaxation of national social distancing guidelines.
After going live a week ago, already 130 grants have been paid by the city council for nearly £1.3million.
Trilogy Leisure operates Trilogy Health and Fitness in Bretton, Peterborough as well as 5 Leisure Centres, Cinema and a Soft Play Centre in Northampton, and has received money as part of the scheme.
John Fletcher, managing director of Trilogy Leisure, said: “As an organisation we have faced significant financial pressure as a result of the pandemic.
“The community across Bretton, Peterborough rely on their local gym to help them keep fit and healthy. This funding will assist our gym in Peterborough to reopen and continue to provide the service we are very proud to deliver.”
Steve Hoffmann, owner of Fengate Gym in Peterborough, said the grant had been crucial. He said: “The re-start grant, along with the other grants during our 9 months of closure in the last year have kept the business going. The whole leisure sector, including independent gyms, big-box gyms and leisure centres were hit hard. The re-start grant has allowed us to re-invest in the gym on equipment, infrastructure and stock along with working capital for the future. The gym has been in Peterborough for over 30 years in Fengate and provides physical and mental wellbeing for hundreds of members of which many have retuned this week. Public health will remain high on the agenda for some time to come and all the gyms, coaches and PT’s can help solve this national crisis of inactivity we are facing. Peterborough City Council has been extremely supporting in the distribution of funds since the start of the pandemic and its much appreciated during this stressful time.”
Katherine Everett from Spiral Gym Club, situated in Bretton, has also benefitted from the grant. Katherine said: “We have been closed on and off for the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When we were able to open we were, and still are, running at a reduced capacity due to the current restrictions.
“The grants were a great help to us as without them we would have had to close which would have devastated our members. Most of our overheads had to be paid, whether we were closed or open.
“The grants have at least covered some of those overheads as we have also had to continue paying our rent.
“The application process was very easy to use and we are very thankful for that.
“The recent application process was also reasonably straight forward, and we have been very grateful to receive this. Starting up again has always been our aim and this has helped that happen.”