OVER 9,000 business grants have been given out to local businesses in Blackburn with Darwen as non-essential retail remains closed during the national lockdown.

The council has given out grants totalling to £51.4 million and have said there are no outstanding cases of wet-led pubs or other eligible businesses waiting for the support promised by the Government.

A Council spokesperson said: “There are no outstanding cases in Blackburn with Darwen for the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pub and payments to the eligible businesses started promptly on 22nd December.

"Throughout December and early January we have dealt with applications that did not fulfil the criteria and these have been refused along with an explanation for the decision. Examples of cases refused include hotels, guest houses and sporting venues which do not come under this criteria.

"All Local Restriction Support Grants in Blackburn with Darwen have been paid up to mid-February, including the one-off Closed Business Lockdown Payment.

"Our approach has always been to pay as quickly as possible to help local businesses as much as we can, and the Council has so far given out over 9,000 grants totalling over £51.4m.”

Elsewhere, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has revealed that 3 in 4 wet led pubs (74%) are still yet to receive their Christmas grant promised to them by the Prime Minister at the beginning of December 2020.

The one off grant was to assist wet-led pubs which were forced to close over a usual festive period, when the average pub would make £47,000 in revenue.