A COTSWOLD pub says they are disappointed to have missed out on a £10,000 Coronavirus support grant that they say they would have received if they were just three miles away.

Cotswold District Council has said although they understand the disappointment, the Plough Inn was not eligible for the grant under government rules.

Rebecca Chanin, the landlady of the Donnington brewery owned pub in Ford Temple Guiting, said when the first round of grants, on behalf of the government, became available they didn't attempt to apply as they knew their rateable value was greater than £51,000.

But the second time a grant became available, Cotswold’s Discretionary Grant Scheme, the landlady said they decided to apply.

Miss Chanin said: "My son called them up and said 'as you know our rates are £60,500 - do we have to fit all the criteria'?

"They said no, still apply.

"We applied, and were told we had been unsuccessful.

"But I had told The Pheasant, a Donnington pub like us three miles down the road (in Toddington), and like us who have business rates like us of 60,500, about the grant.

"They applied, but for them it is to Tewkesbury Council, and they gave them the grant.

"Bear in mind I pay £30,000 business rates a year - nobody can believe it, that I have not received any form of grant whatsoever.

"It is like a postcode lottery. I have been entitled to nothing."

Miss Chanin said the grant would have helped especially as it had cost them the best part of £2,000 on making the pub Covid-19 safe with screens, hand sanitisers and masks, so that they could reopen on July 4.

"I am very fearful (for the future) it has been dreadful since lockdown, a bad start. No grant, roadworks (outside the pub), you scratch your head.

"Pubs were closing before Coronavirus at the rate of about three a week. The pub was in crisis already, now this Coronavirus crisis has hit, with business rates applied to pub in rural areas, it is an unmanageable situation."

Councillor Mike Evemy, Cotswold District Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: "We fully understand the disappointment of the owners of The Plough at Ford and other businesses who have not been eligible for a government supported business grant.

"Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve done all we can to help businesses across the district by providing advice and support, helping them to reopen safely and distributing government grants to many of those in need of financial support.

"Cotswold’s Discretionary Grant Scheme was established in line with clear government guidelines which we followed closely when awarding grants.

"One of the guidelines was that the scheme should be ‘predominantly and primarily aimed at businesses that occupy property (or part of a property) with a rateable value or annual mortgage/rent payments below £51,000’.

"The Plough at Ford was above this value, so we were unable to offer a grant in this particular case.

"Some councils have felt able to make payments to larger businesses but with the government setting a limit on the amount we could distribute, £1.7m in our case, we did not feel able to do so.

"We were clear in designing the scheme and application that this was the case.

"We are aware that some businesses have not been able to benefit from any of the three business grants schemes and we have written to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy suggesting that a scheme designed to support small businesses with rateable values over £51,000, such as the Plough, is needed and that we would be happy to help in designing and administering such a scheme.

"The council is currently holding almost £2 million from the allocation by the government for business grants that could be used to support such businesses if the government agreed.”