HYNDBURN Council's leader has urged local businesses to apply for new grants during the second national coronavirus lockdown.

Cllr Miles Parkinson has revealed its online portal for the cash support is now open.

The National Restriction Support Grant (Closed Businesses) will provide financial assistance and support to businesses which were open and trading prior to the lockdown and then required to close for a consecutive period of four weeks or more.

Cllr Parkinson told the borough's Cabinet: “In the last six months, we have issued more than £30m in additional funding and Hyndburn has been recognised nationally for leading the country in its efforts to support vital local businesses.

"It is important that we continue to support our businesses throughout these difficult times ensuring funds are allocated to those businesses that have been forced to stop trading under the government’s imposed restrictions."

He highlighted to fellow councillors the praise Hyndburn Council received for swift processing of grants in the first lockdown from local government secretary Robert Jenrick at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press briefing in May.