£2million to support communities and businesses through coronavirus emergency

Lancaster City Council has allocated £2million in emergency funding to support the district's most vulnerable people and struggling local businesses.

City councillors agreed the funding on Wednesday evening (March 18) as part of a package of measures to assist communities through the current public health emergency. The funding will be allocated from the council’s reserves.

Councillors also called on the Government to waive the five week waiting period before a Universal Credit claim is paid, to deal with the rapidly expanding need for benefit support.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “It goes without saying that as a society we have a duty to protect our most vulnerable members.

“Many were struggling before the outbreak of coronavirus and the impact of the disease has only increased the pressure they are facing to feed their families and pay their bills.

“Businesses too are struggling as fewer people use their services following the advice that we all need to practice greater social distancing.

“As a council we have a duty to lead and protect our communities. I’m pleased that with the support of all political groups we have been able to agree this funding as part of a wider package of support measures as we look to weather this unprecedented crisis.”

Last night’s decision will see £1million allocated to support coordinated efforts to protect the most vulnerable people, working with partners in the voluntary, community and faith sector, including local foodbanks.

Another £1million will be allocated to provide assistance to struggling local businesses. A specialist team has been established by the city council to support businesses through the crisis. Any businesses wanting to know more about funding, or just needing general advice, should contact the city council’s economic development team by emailing econdev@lancaster.gov.uk.

Last updated: 19 March 2020