Liberal Democrat run North Norfolk District Council has won the award for ‘Digital Finance Project of the Year’ at the 2021 Public Finance Awards in recognition of its exceptional performance in the issuing of COVID-19 business grants and support for North Norfolk’s businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.
The Public Finance Awards, in association with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy praises schemes and recognises the work of public bodies, such as Councils, in projects that have displayed excellence or originality.
Since the start of the pandemic, over £126m has been paid out to businesses in North Norfolk through over 30,000 transactions, providing a vital lifeline for many businesses struggling through lockdowns or restrictions.
Early into the pandemic, the Council opted to make grant applications as simple as possible and by implementing a database where eligible businesses could be contacted or awarded subsequent grants, removing the pressure and ensuring businesses didn’t miss out unnecessarily.
Cllr. Richard Kershaw, portfolio holder for Sustainable Growth said:
“I am immensely proud of the work Officers put in over the pandemic. Their tireless work, attention to detail and consistency of application delivered over £126m of grants to Businesses in North Norfolk. As a result of defraying these grants in the timescale set out by Government the Council was able to qualify for a further £760k of grants which are about to be distributed.
The attitude of the team went beyond the normal call of duty and was carried out professionally with a sense of purpose and good humour in the face of very difficult circumstances for our local businesses.”
The Council has recently announced a new COVID grant scheme, called the Business Recovery & Resilience Grant. The scheme will enable local businesses to implement changes and initiatives that will support their plans to invest, recover, sustain or diversify.
The Council will also use the funds to provide the package of other support focused around Digitalisation, the Visitor Economy and the Care Sector.
The grant scheme opens for applications on 11 October.