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Coronavirus in Leicester - ALPHA

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Business support grant applications

We are working through a high volume of applications. Please do not contact us, we will be in touch as soon as we have processed your application.

Street cafe furnishings grant applications

Applications are currently paused due to the high number received. We will be prioritising applications based on business location, project impact and value for money.

Street cafe furnishings grant

We have set up a street cafe furnishings grant as part of the citywide recovery plan. This will allow eligible independent restaurants/cafes to apply for grants of up to £4,000, to purchase appropriate furniture and outdoor goods to support their business. The aim of the grant is to enable the business to operate safely within social safety guidelines.

  • Hospitality businesses who pay their business rates to us (Leicester City Council) or receive small business rate relief.
  • Companies as defined by the Companies Act categories of micro or small business, not chains or multinational groups as defined by the Companies Act 2006.
  • The business needs to provide an established table service food offer.
  • The business needs to be able to demonstrate that it has an approved street café licence or applied for a new temporary licence under the new guidance.

The maximum grant award is £4,000.

All awards will be treated as a grant. The level of award will be judged on the number of additional covers which the business is able to generate through the outdoor space available to it. For example a business able to generate 20 additional covers would be likely to receive a higher level of grant than one able to create 5 additional covers.

In addition, a minimum business contribution of 25% will be required as contribution towards the cost of the goods.

Applications are currently paused due to the volume of applications already received. We will update again in the new year.

Within the application, please ensure you detail the amount each proposed item will cost. For example 6 x 4 tables = £(enter amount).

Please ensure along with the application form you submit:

  • Copies of the quotes for goods looking to be purchased
  • Copy of site plan for the outside seating

Details of the layout of your proposed arrangement will be obtained from the licensing department so we can align the proposed set up with the goods looking to be purchased.

The grant can only be spent on physical goods, which enable a business to trade outside for table service food. This could include seating, tables, heaters (in line with the guidance) and barriers. All goods must meet appropriate safety regulations. You will be responsible for the upkeep and safety of all these goods.

All purchases should ideally be sourced locally and not from websites such as eBay or Amazon. One quote is required for all goods being purchased.

All goods will need to comply with the Street café policy and guidance (PDF)In addition, these need to be considered in relation to the look and feel of the local area and being environmentally friendly. For example, barrier requests for standard Coca Cola signage will not be approved.  In respect of heaters, and in order to reduce our carbon efficiency, gas heaters will not be permitted but other heaters such as Infrared (IR) electric heaters will be allowable.  These tend to use a lot less energy than standard gas patio heaters and are cheaper to run, they also heat the surface they are facing directly instead of the surrounding air.

We want to make this process as simple as possible, so that decisions can be made quickly and funding transferred to businesses without delay. 

Following your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming that we have received your application, together with a tracking number to be used in all correspondence. All applications are checked for completeness and eligibility against the guidelines. 

If your application is incomplete or ineligible, we will send you an e-mail outlining the reason(s). We regret that we are unable to progress incomplete or ineligible applications.

Your application will be reviewed and assessed by the Evaluation Panel made up of key stakeholders. All applications will have a due diligence checks as part of the application assessment process to ensure compliance, this will include aspects such as food rating.

Declarations of interest will be requested and all records of applications/recommendations will be kept on file. All applications received, which contain a declaration of interest will be subject to a secondary assessment by a third party external to the Evaluation Panel.

We expect a high demand for this fund and regrettably will only be able to support a proportion of the applications we receive.

Retention of application materials

In order to comply with our audit processes, we will retain copies of the application form and supporting materials for declined applications up until 31 March 2021, and for successful applications for a further 10 years after which time they will be destroyed. Original materials will only be returned to you if a stamped self-addressed envelope is enclosed with them.

If your application is successful, we will send you a standard funding agreement, together with any specific conditions relating to your award. A signed letter will also be requested covering your bank account details, VAT and Company Registration Number (if applicable) so we can set your business up on our Financial Payment System, unless already established.

Please note, if you are in the process of obtaining a street café licence, we will not be able to fully approve and release the funding until that permit has been officially approved.


Businesses who are successful in the grant process may be asked to participate in an evaluation process by us or in promotional material for the project, therefore by accepting the grant you must be willing and able to take part in this process to help us understand the impact and legacy of the fund.

Once you have signed the funding agreement, you will then be able to purchase the goods agreed as part of the funding agreement. Any purchases prior to acceptance of the funding agreement will be at your own risk. 

Following purchase of the goods and being located in the agreed café seating area according to the street café license, you will be required to submit a claim to for the goods purchased in line with the funding agreement.

We will need to see proof of purchase via your bank account. If appropriate receipts are not provided or we do not feel that appropriate evidence can be provided, then you will be required to repay the grant in full. Cash transactions with a receipt will not be accepted as proof of payment.

The fund allows you to buy furniture, such as tables, chairs, heaters, barriers, planters, that will allow you to trade in the space outside of your premises in line with the permissions in your street café licence. It has to be suitable for safe outside use and comply with the guidance.

We expect businesses to ensure a high quality of design and finish to fit in with the aesthetic of your establishment and the surrounding area.

We also strongly urge businesses to consider environmental aspects of their outdoor space and ensure its design and furniture add to the look and feel of the city.

We can only accept re-submissions that have previously been declined if there have been a significant and substantial new impact to your business since the last application. All re-submissions must be discussed and agreed with us in advance.

Our funding is discretionary and our decision in all matters concerning the assessment and selection of projects for investment is final. 

You can make a complaint if you have good cause to believe that the correct procedures, as published in these guidelines, have not been followed or have been applied in such a way as to prejudice the outcome of your application.

If you wish to complain, please go to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) website in the first instance.

Frequently asked questions

The space you can use outside your premises will be determined by the licensing section and will be set out in your street café licence - please take the space available to you into consideration when you apply for a grant.

You will need to comply with the government guidance for restaurants and bars as required, but social distancing must be observed outside your premises in the same way it is inside.

You must take this into consideration when planning your space for the amount of furniture you will need. Individual businesses will be responsible for ensuring the furniture they buy complies with the relevant guidelines at that time.

Yes. The grant is non-returnable and when you have purchased the furniture it is yours to keep, secure, clean and maintain. Overnight storing or security of the furniture will also be your responsibility.

Yes. The furniture belongs to you and if it breaks you must fix or remove it.