SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron is celebrating a Government concession allowing B&Bs in the area to apply for business support grants.

The Government announced today that it will alter the criteria so as to enable small businesses who are eligible for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme to qualify for business support grants.

Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, described the decision as a 'campaign win' following weeks of lobbying lawmakers to provide a comprehensive support package to one of the country's most hard-hit sectors as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Lakes B&Bs, along with other small businesses in Cumbria's tourism and hospitality sectors, have been impacted further by reports of high Covid-19 incidence rates in South Lakeland and other parts of the county.

An initial 'lifeline' support package for the sectors was provided by the Government several weeks ago. Commenting on the news today, the South Lakes MP said: “This is a big win for our campaign to get support to many small businesses who have been falling through the cracks.

“We’ve been banging the drum for small businesses that pay council tax, whether that be small B&Bs or businesses that operate in shared shares, to be given the financial support they need to survive this crisis.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Cumbria Tourism and South Lakeland District Council who we’ve been working with closely to lobby the Government on this, and to all the small businesses who have been in touch with their story which has helped us build our case.”