// England councils to return £1.3bn in unspent coronavirus support
// Almost 900,000 business properties have received government grants
// The government confirmed a cut off date of August 28, 2020
New research has found that councils across England are expected to return over £1 billion in unspent coronavirus support from the government, representing 11 per cent of the overall £12.33 billion funding pot for the country.
Almost 900,000 business properties have received government grants worth up to £25,000, while £1.32 billion remains unspent and set to be returned to the Treasury, according to the Altus Group.
Last month, the government confirmed a cut off date of August 28, 2020 for the grant schemes introduced to support retail, leisure and hospitality premises.
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The grants were launched to alleviate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that 897,590 properties received grants totalling £11.01 billion.
Retail, hospitality or leisure businesses were eligible for a grant of £10,000, if their rateable value was £15,000 or below, or a higher grant of £25,000, if their rateable value was between £15,001 and £51,000.
Meanwhile, those businesses in receipt of small business rates relief were also entitled to £10,000.
During the height of the pandemic in April, UK councils in Sunderland, Devon and Cornwall began issuing grant payments to eligible retailers.
It came after the UK government announced business support such as grants to cover wages, business rates holidays and cash grants.