Support for nightclubs and soft play

First phase of business grants from new fund.

Nightclubs and soft play centres that have been closed by law since March are to benefit from targeted funding.

One-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund. Grants will be based on rateable value.

Businesses operating multiple premises will be eligible to claim one full grant plus grants of up to 75% on subsequent properties.

Guidance will be published this week to help soft play centres prepare for re-opening when it is safe to do so. The guidance has been developed in partnership with clinical experts, regulators, trade unions and industry representatives.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“We know that nightclubs and soft play centres have been particularly badly hit by this pandemic – unlike the majority of businesses, they have not been allowed to open since March. These grants take account of those exceptional circumstances and will provide a boost as we continue to tackle the virus.

“We don’t want any business to remain closed for a day longer than is necessary but public health is paramount. Unfortunately we are at a critical point with infection levels rising again and it is not safe to lift restrictions on these activities.

“Local authorities will be contacting businesses directly to get the information needed to progress their claim.”


More information and full eligibility criteria

Funding has been made available for soft play centres and nightclubs through the £11 million COVID-19 Contingency Fund. This is part of the package of more than £40 million support for businesses affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Premises will not be eligible if they have opened at all since March – for example by changing their licence to open as a pub – and awards may be reduced if companies successfully apply to the Cultural Organisations and Venue Recovery Fund.

Grant thresholds

Rateable value

Grant amount

£18,000 or under


Between £18,001 and £51,000


Above £51,001



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