//ABTA urges travel companies to apply for government funding

ABTA urges travel companies to apply for government funding

ABTA has revealed that there could be up to £300 million of unspent Additional Restrictions Grant funding available to travel companies across England.

Travel agents, tour operators and travel management companies in England are eligible to apply for the funding, which has been a lifeline for many throughout the pandemic.

Government data on how much funding has been allocated to local authorities across England, under the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), is being highlighted to ABTA members – as well as how much remains unspent by councils, as of the end of August 2021.

ABTA’s director of public affairs, Luke Petherbridge, is urging members to ‘be persistent’ in their bids to secure funding for their businesses.

There is no restriction on the number of grants a business can receive. Government guidance to councils encourages local authorities to focus their support on ‘those sectors that remain closed or are severely impacted by the extended restrictions, even if those businesses have already been in receipt of Restart Grants’.

ABTA’s chief executive Mark Tanzer has this week written to Business Minister Paul Scully and Tourism Minister, Nigel Huddleston to urge them to ask councils to prioritise travel companies within the £1.5bn discretionary business rates relief scheme, which is due to reach councils in the next few weeks.

“While the relaxation of a number of restrictions means that things are starting to look up for international travel – the majority of our members have been starved of cash over the last 18 months,” said Petherbridge.

“Although it is easier for people to travel, without financial support some companies will find it difficult to get through these next few months, which is why we are urging them to pursue the Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

“Members can see what is left in their local authority’s pot by checking the spreadsheet in ABTA’s MemberZone. If the funding is available, we would urge members to get in touch directly with their local authority and to be persistent – providing evidence on how your business has been restricted over recent months and highlighting the guidance from Government that urges support for travel companies.

“We know from the stories of Members that have been successful that perseverance is important.”