Schools reopen for first time since March
Schools across Bridgend county borough have welcomed back pupils as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Check In, Catch Up – Prepare for Summer and September’ sessions. The sessions are designed to prepare pupils for a phased return to normal lessons in September, and will provide each child who takes part with two days in which to prepare for the next stage of their education when the new school year starts in September. The council is working alongside each school to support their preparations and ensure that the children can take part in the sessions safely. In line with the latest guidance from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, increased cleaning and full social distancing procedures is in place at all schools.
Businesses encourage people to shop safe – shop local!
With shops reopening across Bridgend county borough, residents can look out for window stickers and certificates indicating that businesses have completed free online training on how to keep customers safe from exposure to the coronavirus. Many businesses have completed the start-back training and it is anticipated that over 300 will have been trained over the coming weeks. The online training covers issues such as how to maintain social distancing within premises and how to maintain hand hygiene procedures. Participating businesses have also received free ‘sneeze-guard’ screens, which can be to further limit potential exposure. Many shops are now encouraging customers to visit and are advertising that they are open for business once more by posting photographs of their certificates, window stickers and sneeze-guards across social media along with the slogan #ShopLocal, #ShopSafe.
Newton Beach car park closed
The Newton Beach Development Company Limited has taken the decision to reclose Newton Beach car park following concerns over people not keeping to social distancing guidelines on Newton Beach. The car park and the top end of the beach is privately owned. The company said it will continue to monitor the situation and review the decision following further advice from Welsh Government.
More people allowed to attend funerals
The number of mourners permitted to attend funerals at Coychurch Crematorium and council-maintained cemeteries in the county borough has now increased from 10 to 20. The council imposed the restrictions on the number of mourners in line with guidelines across the UK at the end of March to prevent the spread of coronavirus between mourners, clergy, funeral directors and crematorium staff. The Welsh Government regulations regarding large gatherings remains unchanged and the public are still advised to adhere to the essential travel guidelines and social distancing measures. Up to a total of 20 mourners will also be able to attend a graveside funeral service as long as social distancing measures are strictly observed throughout the open air ceremony.
New Welsh Government start-up grant to support new businesses
Welsh Government has announced a start-up grant to support new businesses dealing with the severe impact of coronavirus. The fund which is initially worth £5m will support start-up firms which fall outside the UK Government’s Self Employment Income Support Scheme as they only began trading in 2019. Applications for the grant opened today. The new start-up grant will support up to 2,000 businesses in Wales, with £2,500 each. The grant will be administered by local authorities and businesses can check their eligibility by visiting the Business Wales website. The start-up grant is being delivered in the county borough by Bridgend County Borough Council with applications now open.
Last chance for funding support
Charity-run shops, sports premises and community centres have until 30 June to apply for a £10,000 Welsh Government business support grant. The Small Charities grant scheme is aimed at eligible organisations who have properties in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of £12,000 or less – you can find full details about eligibility and how to apply at the council website.
June 30 deadline for business grants
The 30 June deadline is also imminent for local businesses who wish to apply for financial support designed to help them meet the challenges of the pandemic. With more than £28m provided so far, the council has processed 2,256 applications from local traders. Businesses can apply to the fund using an online form.
Last chance for Sport Wales relief
Tuesday 30 June will also be the deadline for applications from sports clubs to the Sport Wales Emergency Relief Fund. Designed to provide funding which will help keep sports clubs running during the coronavirus pandemic, application details are available at the Sport Wales website. The council has also made support available by providing clubs with £64,980 through its Bridgend Sports Support Fund, and suspending fees for using sport facilities for the rest of the year.