BUSINESSES in Gwent have been handed a share of £104 million in financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures revealed by the Welsh Government show thousands of non-domestic rates grants have been given to companies by the five Gwent local authorities. The funding has come from a £2.4 billion pot provided by the Welsh Government.

In Newport, £26.6 million was paid out across 2,141 grants up to Tuesday, May 26, while, in Caerphilly, 2,532 payments totalling £29.6 million were made.

Blaenau Gwent council paid out 1,135 grants totalling £12,7 million and, in Torfaen, a total of £15.1 million has been distributed in 1,285 grants. Monmouthshire has made 1,535 payments totalling £20.2 million.


The figures were announced by finance minister Rebecca Evans, who has set out the steps the Welsh Government has taken to dedicate more than £2.4 billion to the coronavirus crisis.

This significant financial effort has provided more than £750 million to fund the NHS and public service response, supporting the supply of PPE, investment in testing and tracing and NHS recruitment, but also helped to deliver the most generous business support package in the UK.

The latest figures show that more than 52,000 grants, totalling £640 million have been paid to businesses in Wales, which are also benefitting from rates relief through the £1.4 billion package announced in March.

The finance minister called on the UK government to ease the ‘rigid financial rules’ that limit the Welsh Government’s ability to direct more resources to its Covid response.

She said: “This unprecedented financial response has maximised the immediate support we could offer to Welsh public services, businesses and the most vulnerable in this crisis.

“It is only right that we have been guided by a sense of what is fair when public finances are facing such enormous pressure. That is why we have gone beyond the funding we have received from the UK government to deliver targeted support, from funding free school meals throughout the holidays to delivering the most generous business support package in the UK.

“There are still many challenges ahead and our ability to respond is limited by the rigid financial rules imposed on us by the UK government. Easing the rules on the way we manage our budget and the amount we can borrow will free up much-needed resources for the front lines in this crisis.

“I will continue to urge the UK Treasury to fix this problem and as we look ahead the Welsh Government will set out the case against any return to reckless austerity.”