Author: Sarah

Coronavirus: grants now available to small businesses and retail / leisure businesses

Shropshire’s small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, can apply for Government funding through the coronavirus COVID-19 Small Business Grant Fund, and Retail Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund.

Funding was provided by the Government to Shropshire Council on Wednesday 1 April 2020 to pass directly onto businesses through these schemes. This is a huge boost for businesses in the county, and a huge undertaking for the council. £91m was received on 1 April, and it is estimated that over 7,000 businesses can access this money, providing they meet the criteria set by the Government. Applications can be made now via the council website –

Under the Small Business Grant Fund, all businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000, providing they meet the eligibility rules.

To be included, a business must be eligible for either relief as at 11 March 2020 and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less.

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses that don’t pay into the business rates system are not included in this scheme, and there are some other exceptions.

Coronavirus: Food parcels now available for those most vulnerable in Shropshire

Shropshire Council are providing food parcels to those most vulnerable and who don’t have family or friends, to help them not go hungry.

The scheme is in response to the Government letter sent to those who have been advised to be ‘shielding’ from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

1,500,000 people in England have been identified as being the most vulnerable. The process asks people on the most vulnerable list to identify themselves if they don’t have family or friends, to help them access food.

Shropshire Council is working to support these people, who because they are being ‘shielded’, cannot get out to go shopping. This will include putting people in touch with local organisations that will help them, as well as providing food where it is needed.

Food parcels are starting to be delivered to people this week; and more food parcels will continue over the next few weeks, to ensure they continue regularly to reach everyone on the Government’s list.

Food parcels will also be delivered to others who have been identified as needing support, outside of being on the ‘shielding’ list of the most vulnerable.

Shropshire Council are asking anyone who have either received the Government’s letter about being identified as one of the ‘most vulnerable who should be shielded’, or anyone else who is in need of support and cannot get access to food, to call the Coronavirus Helpline on 0345 678 9028.

Coronavirus: Help available for victims of domestic abuse across the county

Shropshire Council, along with other key partners across the county, are reassuring victims of domestic abuse that help and support remains available to them at this difficult time.

Shropshire Safeguarding Partnership has put together some contact numbers and resources for people living with, or worried about, domestic abuse at this difficult time.

The useful phone numbers and contacts are:

Shropshire Council First Point of Contact (FPOC)

  • Adult social care and safeguarding concerns – 0345 678 9044
  • Safeguarding children: access to Compass, children’s social care Front Door and targeted early help – 0345 678 9021
  • Housing – 0345 678 9005

Telford and Wrekin Family Connect – 01952 385385 (Family front door, including child protection referrals)

Out of hours Emergency Duty Teams:                        

If you suspect that an abuser is monitoring your Internet usage, find out how to hide your browser history at

For help and support contact the Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service 0300 303 1191or email

E-library at your fingertips

Although Shropshire Libraries are currently closed, they are working hard to improve their online resources.

Shropshire Libraries have a great selection of e-resources readily available at your fingertips from e-books and e-audio to e-magazinese-newspapersCommunity Directory to even Shropshire Libraries Facebook Book Group.

If you aren’t a library member it’s easy to join online.

For more information, visit Shropshire Libraries website.

Happy Reading!

Free Theatre for All! (From the comfort and safety of home!)

To celebrate World Theatre Day (today, Friday 27 March 2020), Pentabus Theatre (national rural theatre company, based in Ludlow) today announced that they are going to release recordings of their past shows on their website and social media channels to be streamed for free.

These will remain live for the next three months, and will be released weekly on a Friday at 2pm for anyone to access.

The first production to be released was “Here I Belong” by Matt Hartley today, with other shows to follow including “Crossings” by Deirdre Kinahan and “Each Slow Dusk” by Rory Mullarkey.

The recordings will be accompanied by social media Q&As with cast and creative teams from the productions, details of which will be announced via social media.

Pentabus were the first company to live stream theatre directly from village halls into homes and community spaces across the world. All recordings are high quality and filmed during live streams or as part of a live capture over the past five years.

They realise that a lot of their audience will be stuck in their houses in rural communities and want to give everyone the chance to go to the virtual village hall and experience excellent theatre from the comfort of their own home.

To view the shows as they’re released: | Youtube: PentabusTheatre | Instagram: Pentabustheatrecompany
Facebook: PentabusTheatre  Twitter: @pentabustheatre

Coronavirus: MOTs for cars, vans and motorcycles due before 30 March 2020

What to do if your car, van or motorcycle’s MOT due date is up to and including 29 March 2020. From 30th March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by six months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

For more information, visit the link below.

Please note, there is separate guidance about what to do if your MOT due date is up to and including 29th March 2020.

You must NOT take your vehicle for its MOT if you or someone you live with have COVID-19 symptoms, or if you’re extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Coronavirus: Council tax payment delay offer available for residents impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic

Shropshire Council is offering residents whose employment or income has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic the opportunity to delay payment of any council tax until Monday 1 June 2020. For information, and to access the application form, please click the link here: –

Please ensure you provide an email address on the form, in order that an amended bill can be emailed to you, in order to reduce printing costs.  If you don’t have access to the Internet, please ring the revenues and benefits team on 0345 678 9002, and an officer will be happy to complete the form on your behalf.

If you pay by direct debit and your first instalment date is 1 April 2020, you will need to return the form before this Friday (27 March 2020) for us to amend your April instalment.

Shropshire Council would also like to remind residents worried about the impact of the coronavirus that other additional support may be available to them to help with council tax payments and payment of their rent through housing benefit.

Any residents whose employment situation or income has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus should visit our benefits webpages for more information. You can also access our online application form from here.