New discretionary grant scheme launched for Island businesses

New discretionary grant scheme launched for Island businesses

More Island businesses will be able to access further grant funding from today (Wednesday 14 April) as the Isle of Wight Council launches its latest Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme.

The government has allocated the council a further £852,000 of discretionary funding to support businesses severely impacted by COVID-19, but which are not eligible for the previously announced Restart Grants.

This could include businesses in the supply chain for non-essential retail and the hospitality sector, businesses operating from domestic rated properties, such as bed and breakfast accommodation, and the self-employed not operating from premises, such as taxi drivers and mobile personal care (hairdressing etc).

As before, applications are via a downloadable application form available on the council’s website — see here. Detailed guidance about the scheme is also available on the website.

Chris Ashman, the council’s director of regeneration, said: “Over the past 12 months the council’s economic development team has distributed nearly £7 million worth of discretionary grants, processing more than 1,370 payments to support Island businesses.

“With this extra funding from government, we are now able to distribute further funds to these important Island companies to help jump start the Island’s economy as we come out of the lockdown.”

He added: ”Our allocated funds are smaller than for the previous schemes the council has run, so applicants are urged to apply swiftly as we are having to run the scheme on a first come, first served basis and we anticipate a high demand.”

The ARG scheme is separate to the Restart Grants for ratepaying businesses announced in the government budget of 3 March and which are due to be paid shortly.

Funding Opportunity – Isle of Wight Foundation – Grant Call 2021

Local projects that look to tackle Social Exclusion and that support people into employment may be able to benefit from the latest round of funding that has just been announced by the Isle of Wight Foundation: The Isle of Wight Foundation, is pleased to announce that the application process for the next round of grant funding from the Isle of Wight Foundation is now open for voluntary, community and not-for-profit groups in our local area.

The IW Foundation is a charitable trust, funded jointly by the partners in Island Roads, to provide grant funding and volunteering support each year to help projects on the Island to tackle social exclusion and support people into employment.

You may have seen in their recent announcements that they were delighted to award grant funding this year of between £3,000 and £16,000 to a further ten projects put forward by community and charity groups on the Island.

These projects included:-

Ability Dogs 4 Young People

Awarded £14,000 for a new van for an ability dog trainer to assist in transporting Ability Dogs for training.

Bembridge Friendship Circle

Awarded £10,000 towards the cost of a new community bus with disabled access to assist socially isolated members of the community.

Care in the Garden

Awarded £7,500 for a new ride-on mower, trailer and mulcher to create more opportunities for the organisation’s supported workers out in the community.

Chillerton and Gatcombe Community Association

Awarded £3,505 to upgrade Chillerton village hall as a community facility and hub.

The Way Forward Programme

Awarded £4,125.25 for a new fully accessible kitchen at its Newport headquarters for its clients with mobility challenges or visual impairments. The new facilities will help the organisation in its work to encourage the independence and self-worth of its customers.


Whippingham Community Association

Awarded £5,000 to upgrade the community hall’s entrance and toilet facilities, making it more accessible to all.

Mountbatten IOW (Earl Mountbatten Hospice)

Awarded £6,700 for 30 laptops to support its Neighbours Remote Support initiative, which provides support to people within their own homes who are isolated or lonely and have a chronic, life-limiting or end of life illness.

WightSAR (Isle of Wight Search & Rescue)

Awarded £8,000 for new search and rescue equipment and training to support its lowland search and rescue services.

Aspire Ryde

Awarded £6,730 for new computer equipment and furniture for a new skills hub, assisting people to earn qualifications that can help them into employment.

Vectis Radio’s 4Ps Training School

Awarded £8,000 to support work helping young people to improve life chances by building their confidence and improve their communication through radio work.

This means that more than £550,000 has now been donated to Island-based good causes since the launch of the IW Foundation.

Now, as it enters its eighth year, the Foundation is once again making up to £80,000 available to support local community projects with, on average, grants of between £3,000 and £16,000.  Grants will be awarded at the end of 2021, with funding commencing at the beginning of 2022.  Successful organisations also receive support from an Island Roads employee, who volunteers their time to help their organisation in the planning and delivery of their project.

Unfortunately, the Foundation is unable to provide funding to statutory bodies so  Town and Parish Councils cannot apply for, or be granted the funds directly; however, we can be involved in nominating or supporting an application from a local group.

They are particularly looking for projects that help people to access employment (e.g. through providing training, qualifications and support or tackling mobility issues which can limit access to employment), or projects which help bring communities together through improving citizenships (e.g. giving people – young or old who are disadvantaged, the encouragement and confidence to play an active role in society).

Whilst they prefer to support capital projects that tend to be larger and make more of a longer-term impact, they are happy to consider other applications e.g. for revenue funding provided the projects meet the grant criteria.  They are also happy to accept applications from groups with existing projects, as long as they can demonstrate that the funding will enable them to extend their services to benefit more people in the community.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 7 May 2021.

If you would like more information on the Isle of Wight Foundation and details of how groups in our community can apply, please visit The FAQ section may be particularly useful.

IWC to support Businesses Over Christmas with Free parking

Free parking deals for the festive season supports safer shopping

Free parking deals for the festive season supports safer shopping: Car parking on the Isle of Wight

A range of free parking offers is coming up this month, starting on Small Business Saturday, 5 December.

Shoppers will get opportunities to park for free in council car parking across the Island as they head back to town-centre shops and traders for COVID-19 safe shopping this festive season.

Most stores and businesses will be open as normal, and despite the unusual trading conditions this year there will be some attractive deals to be had on Isle of Wight quality goods and produce.

As part of the council’s emphasis on safer shopping, free parking won’t be limited to a few days this year, but spread out to allow shoppers to choose less busy times to visit their favourite stores.

On Small Business Saturday, 5 December, there will be free off-street parking in council long-stay car parks across the island between 12pm and 6pm.

With financial support from Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council, there will be 30 minutes of free on-street parking in Newport from Monday 7 December every day until New Year’s Eve.

Off-street parking in council long-stay car parks in all parts of the Island will be free from 3pm until 6pm every day from next Monday 7 December until New Year’s Eve.

And on Christmas Eve, for those last-minute purchases, there will be free off-street parking in every long-stay council car park all day until 6pm.

Councillor Wayne Whittle said: “We’re supporting local business throughout the month because it’s the right thing to do in this pandemic.

“Business owners across the whole Island are working hard to keep everyone safe, and you can expect that as stores reopen, they will have new ways to shop and keep staff and customers socially distant.

“We must not let our guard down: we all need think of our Island community, so please make good choices and shop safely this festive season.”

Councillor Julie Jones-Evans explained: “It’s a great example of the Shaping Newport partnership in action,  supporting the community and emphasising the value of our historic county town as a destination for the whole island.

Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council is happy to subsidise the scheme, to not only encourage people to come to Newport but also as an extra boost for those many traders who have been working so hard to support their customers and keep going through the COVID-19 crisis.”

Isle of Wight Council Budget Consultation 2021/22

Have your say on council spending

Islanders are being invited to give their views on how the Isle of Wight Council should spend its money next year.

The authority has launched its budget consultation — and residents, businesses, the voluntary sector and town and parish councils are being encouraged to have their say on spending and service priorities for 2021/22.

The council expects to spend around £340 million in the next financial year on areas including schools, social care, refuse collection, street cleaning, planning, regeneration and road maintenance.

Council leader, Dave Stewart said: “We’ve managed our budget very robustly over the past few years, and are determined to deliver a robust, workable and forward-looking budget again next year.

“Frontline services have been maintained and improved, with improved efficiencies in many areas.

“Obviously, this year, we have a different challenge with the coronavirus pandemic that remains ongoing, so we have to plan this into our budget analysis for next year too.

“The views of individuals and representatives from all sectors across the Island is hugely valuable to the shaping of our spending and service priorities for the year ahead.

“We welcome views from all contributors as we develop an innovative and workable budget — and one which will allow us to continue to provide sustainable services in the future, within a stable financial environment and help us to keep the Island safe.”

You can give your views online over the next six weeks by visiting:

Vic’s Stores Update From Ward Cllr Barry

This afternoon, Isle of Wight Councillor Reg Barry, posted the following statement on the Seaview and Nettlestone Community Facebook Page and the Nextdoor App. For those who do not have access to those pages, the statement can be found here:

From Cllr Reg Barry
Re. Vics Stores
Good afternoon,
I have had a meeting with Charles and Linda from Vic’s Stores this morning and I would like to clear up a rumour that is currently doing the rounds.
This rumour is that Charles and Linda would be pleased to have their Business ruined by the Co-op so that they could retire and turn our village shop into their retirement home.
In fact this is quite the opposite of their intentions, as they plan to have one of their sons, Richard, to join them in the family business. They plan to bring him in to the business next year to have one to one training in management for a year to 18 months. Eventually Richard will carry on the Family Business which has served our Community for the past 70 or more years. This already on the cards for February next year.
Of course they have worries over the proposed Co-op taking over the Roadside Inn. Those worries are shared by a considerable number of residents in Nettlestone and Seaview.
The Roadside Inn is registered as an Asset of Community Value and is also a valuable part of our village and community. I am sure, like me, that you would do anything you can to help support Charles and Linda at this time.
Best Regards
Reg Barry BEM
Isle of Wight Councillor for Nettlestone and Seaview

Opportunity for Local Businesses – New Wight Gift Card Launch.

A Press Release from the Isle of Wight Council:

The Isle of Wight Council, in partnership with our sponsor Wightfibre, is launching a new gift card to support local businesses during these difficult times. The ‘Wight Gift Card’ will be available from November so that the cards are available in time for the Christmas season.

There are 150 free places available for the first three years of the programme but businesses will need to register by Midday 26th October. Free places are being allocated to businesses across the island to ensure good geographical coverage of the card. Businesses that are unsuccessful in getting a free place will need to pay just £18 to be part of the scheme for three years.

Only by signing up to the programme will businesses be able to accept Wight Gift Card payments from their customers this Christmas.

Technology for the gift card will be provided by Scottish fintech Miconex through its Town and City Gift Cards scheme, active in over 50 towns and cities around the UK and Ireland.

We have recently contacted businesses in your local area and we would really appreciate your support in encouraging businesses to register onto the scheme and take advantage of this new and exciting opportunity.

 For businesses to be able to accept Wight Gift Card payments this Christmas, they will need to send their business name/s and shop address/es to [email protected].

 See FAQs here -.Wight Gift Card FAQs