Coronavirus: Omicron Hospitality Payment

News article

The Omicron Hospitality Payment provided financial support of £40 million to the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland

The Omicron Hospitality Payment closed to new applications at 23:59 on Friday 4 March 2022. No new applications will be accepted after this date.

Over 3,200 businesses were eligible for a one-off grant payment under the scheme, subject to regulations. Payment levels are:

  • £10,000 for businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) up to £15,000; businesses that are the occupier of part of a property with any NAV;
  • £10,000 for sports clubs which occupy and manage a licensed bar and/or licensed restaurant facility and have received less than £50,000 in total through the Department for Communities (DfC) Sports Sustainability Fund
  • £10,000 for soft play, inflatable park or trampoline park businesses which operate a café facility as part of the same business
  • £15,000 for other hospitality businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) between £15,001 and £51,000
  • £20,000 for other hospitality businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) over £51,000

You can find the NAV and full address of business properties in the Non-Domestic Valuation List which is published online by Land & Property Services. Search the Non-Domestic Valuation List.

Eligible businesses included:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants licensed under Article 5(1)(e) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
  • Unlicensed restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Coffee shops
  • Bistros
  • Snack bars
  • Public houses licensed under Article 5(1)(a) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (including nightclubs) 
  • Social clubs and private members clubs (excluding sporting clubhouses)
  • Sports clubs which occupy and manage a licensed bar and/or licensed restaurant facility and have received less than £50,000 in total through the DfC Sports Sustainability Fund
  • Soft play, inflatable park or trampoline park businesses which operate a café facility as part of the same business

The Omicron Hospitality Payment will be administered in line with the following financial regulations:

Further information about this scheme, including exclusions and frequently asked questions, is available in the Omicron Hospitality Payment: Scheme Guidance (PDF, 963K).

Hospitality businesses which received LRSS payments

Land & Property Services (LPS) sent an email to eligible hospitality businesses which received support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) on Wednesday 19 January 2022. Hotels which received support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) received an email on week commencing 31 January 2022. Soft play businesses, trampoline parks and inflatable parks received an email on the week commencing 7 February 2022. See further down this page for details on the application process for sports clubs.

The email included a link to an online form, where businesses were asked to confirm some relevant information and complete a declaration in order to enable payments for the Omicron Hospitality Payment Scheme to issue. A number of email reminders were issued to these businesses before the scheme closed at 23:59 on Friday 4 March 2022. No new applications will be accepted after this date.

Businesses had the opportunity to report a change in circumstances since their last LRSS payment as part of the application process, such as a change in business premises or a new bank account. In these circumstances, applicant businesses were required to submit further information about the change and to provide supporting documentation (in some circumstances).

If there has been no change in a business’ circumstances, the payment was usually issued to the business within 7 to 10 working days of their application, depending on how long the payment takes to clear through the banking system. If circumstances had changed, LPS needed to carry out some further validation checks and gather some additional information, which required additional time to process.

Hospitality businesses which did not receive LRSS payments

Hospitality businesses which did not receive support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme who would have been eligible for LRSS based on their circumstances at 21 December 2021, could apply for support from this scheme by completing an application form and submitting it by email to OHP@finance-ni.gov.uk.

The Omicron Hospitality Payment closed to new applications at 23:59 on Friday 4 March 2022. No new applications will be accepted after this date.

Certain sports clubs which occupy and manage a licensed bar and/or licensed restaurant facility

Sports clubs which occupy and manage a licensed bar and/or licensed restaurant facility and have received less than £50,000 in total through the DfC Sports Sustainability Fund could apply for support from this scheme by completing an application form and submitting it by email to OHPSportsClub@finance-ni.gov.uk.

The Omicron Hospitality Payment closed to new applications at 23:59 on Friday 4 March 2022. No new applications will be accepted after this date.

Impact on funding through the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations

If you are a culture, languages, arts, heritage, sport, charities or social enterprise organisation and you apply for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, you must advise the Department for Communities (DfC) of any applications you have made or intend to make to other government funds, including the Omicron Hospitality Payment. Any payments (including offset payments) will be taken into account in assessing entitlement to the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations.

If you have not yet lodged your application for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, and you are eligible for the Omicron Hospitality Payment, you should include the Omicron Hospitality Payment in your Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations financial projections.

If you have already lodged your application for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, you must inform the appropriate DfC appointed delivery organisation about the Omicron Hospitality Payment.

DfC and the Department of Finance will carry out data matching to avoid any double funding.

Other information

See further information about eligibility for LRSS. Applicants should note that only eligibility for the Omicron Hospitality payment will be assessed. There is no facility to retrospectively apply for support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, as LRSS has now closed.

All information about the scheme and administration of the scheme will be managed online so that Land & Property Services staff can issue payments quickly. If you need to contact Land & Property Services about this scheme, hospitality businesses can email OHP@finance-ni.gov.uk and sports clubs can email OHPSportsClub@finance-ni.gov.uk.


First published 23 December 2021