Coronavirus: Certified Bed and Breakfast, Guest House and Guest Accommodation Support Scheme extended to Hostels and Bunk Houses

News article

NOTE: This scheme closed to applications at 5pm on Tuesday 9 March 2021.

Scheme to support tourist accommodation businesses severely impacted through reduced income due to COVID-19 has been extended to include hostels and bunk houses

The Bed and Breakfast, Guest House and Guest Accommodation Support Scheme has been extended to include hostels and bunk houses and is now accepting applications from these categories.

However, please note, applications from those businesses categorised as bed & breakfast, guest house and guest accommodation closed on 11 February 2021.

This scheme is intended to support business continuity plans, keep the business operational and start to prepare for re-opening. Support awarded can be used for the following:

  • the cost of re-opening or keeping a business operational
  • adapting physical areas of the business and service processes
  • the cost of re-connecting with employees and customers
  • adapting customer marketing
  • financial planning

For those premises certified under hostel or bunk houses financial assistance will be calculated on a per bed space basis.

    Eligibility criteria

    To apply, you must be a named owner, correspondent or authorised representative from an existing hostel or bunk house accommodation certified by Tourism NI. Please note that, if you have more that one business in this category, you will need to submit separate application forms.

    The scheme is open to applicants meeting the following criteria:

    • As a tourist accommodation provider, you are in compliance with the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.
    • The business held a certificate from Tourism NI in the hostel or bunk house category on 23 March 2020 and was operational on or before that date.
    • The business was viable prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and you have taken all reasonable steps to safeguard the viability of the business.
    • You intend to reopen and operate the business when restrictions permit.
    • The business is listed on Tourism NI’s Discover Northern Ireland website. A limited number of businesses do not have a Discover Northern Ireland listing. In this case, businesses should provide a link to a website or online booking platform where your property is advertised or can be booked online.
    • The business is compliant with all other statutory bodies and is adhering to all other regulations applicable to tourism businesses.
    • That you/the business are fully tax compliant on the date of application. This means the business is registered with HMRC, if applicable, and all relevant tax filings with HMRC are up to date.
    • The business is not the subject of insolvency or winding-up proceedings, its assets are not being administered by a liquidator or by the court, it is not in an arrangement with creditors, its business activities are not suspended, nor is it in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure under national laws and regulations.
    • Support received under previous grant schemes will be considered in calculating the level of grant under this scheme. For example, a business that received the £10,000 Small Business Support Grant Scheme would only be able to access £2,500 under the Tourism NI Scheme (£12,500 maximum benefit less £10,000 already received.) Businesses that received funding as part of the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Scheme will be ineligible from the Tourism NI Scheme.

    How to apply

    The scheme is open to applications from businesses categorised as hostel and bunk houses until 5pm on Tuesday 9 March 2021.

    Eligible businesses will be able to apply online through the Tourism NI Flexigrant system. Please note, if you have previously used Tourism NI’s online financial assistance portal, you should use your existing username and password to apply. If you are a new user, please register to gain access to the form.

    Applicants should note that the granting of access to the application form does not confirm final eligibility or receipt of financial assistance on an applicant. Depending on the information provided in the application form, an applicant may be deemed ineligible for support later in the process.

    The grant will be paid by electronic transfer to the business bank account detailed on the application form.

    First published 24 February 2021