Advice for members with subsidiary self-catering holiday accommodation businesses
We have had a number of inquiries in connection with this, and on your behalf we have engaged with several local authorities and relevant senior representatives from the Welsh Government.
If you are a diversified farm with an established self-catering business, you may have received an email in connection with the availability of the above grant. To be eligible you must meet the following Welsh Government criteria published on 17 April 2020. You:
must produce two years of trading accounts directly preceding the current financial year of the business
your accommodation must actually have been let for a period of 140 days or more, in the financial year 2019-20
must demonstrate that this activity must be the primary source of income for the owner (minimum threshold is 50%)
The Covid-19 situation is challenging for everyone – including the local authorities that are administering support and guidance for businesses affected by the crisis.
In Wales, over £500m of grants has been awarded to 41,000 businesses over the last few weeks and Welsh Government has assured us that it does not wish to see any deserving self-catering business fail to receive the grant to which it is entitled. Local authorities are able to apply a degree of interpretation to the eligibility criteria. Business-keepers who have sound business case should be successful.
Local authorities do vary in their procedures but the process appears to be that if you are eligible, you will be contacted and invited to submit relevant information. If you are not contacted but do have an eligible business, then we advise that you should contact your local authority Business Rates department.
Some inconsistency of interpretation does appear to exist among Wales’ 22 local authorities. We recommend that business-keepers should submit what information they can - even if all the requested information is not available. For example, those who have recently created an additional income stream on a farm and who have only one year’s accounts for the self-catering unit – should still make this case. We advise this be submitted with a covering letter explaining this. If the local authority needs more information, they will come back to you.
If you are unsuccessful and feel you have been declined unfairly, do appeal or get in touch with the CLA who will offer advice and support.