AROUND £1million is being handed out to 260 struggling businesses by BCP Council in a move that a nightclub operator says will be “make or break”.

The latest round of Covid crisis grants is aimed at several sectors which have been pleading for extra help, including events, nightclubs, travel and the aerospace industry.

BCP said Stream Two of its discretionary grant scheme had been developed to support “priority businesses that play a vital and interconnected role in the success of the local economy”.

There is £370,000 for the events sector, £200,000 for nightclubs, £165,000 for travel, £153,000 for cultural services, £125,000 for international visitor services and £53,000 for aerospace.

The council has started telling businesses whether their grant applications were successful and the money should arrive within days. Some will be asked for more information before grants are issued.

Ty Temel, whose Halo nightclub has received no grants until now, said: “It looks like the money is due to drop in next week, which is fantastic. Our rateable value at Halo is £105,000 a year, probably one of the highest in the town, so we did get the maximum, which is £25,000.

“We’ve had nothing since March and had to survive. Now we’ve had our £25,000 so effectively we’re just being brought up level with everyone else, no extra treatment. However, that £25,000 is going to be make or break. We were out of money, we were scratching our heads, ‘What are we going to do? Will we be here?’. That will now give us some more breathing space.

“It won’t touch the sides when rent is £20,000 a month but it will give us some breathing space. It means we can keep the staff on furlough and wait for the next steps.”

He added: “BCP were the first council in the country to get the application process open for Stream Two, which is nightclubs and events. They were the first, as soon as they were given the power, to help.”

Bournemouth 7s, the sport and music festival which is due to happen in August, received £5,000.

Its managing director, Craig Mathie, said: “The events industry is close to the edge. Having received zero income for almost 20 months, any financial support helps us to keep the much-loved Bournemouth 7s Festival alive.

“No business wants to rely on grants but the reality is, we remain closed by government policy. Whilst we understand the public safety reasons for this, the industry must be supported until we are able to do what we do best.

“Whilst local discretionary pots are, of course, helpful, they do not constitute the level of support our entire industry really needs.”

Mr Mathie also chairs the South Coast Events Forum and said in that capacity: “As an industry, the events community has suffered a seismic shock over the past 12 months and has, without a doubt, been one of the most affected industries in the country. We are thankful to BCP Council for recognising our plight and the support that they have offered our beleaguered members through this discretionary funding stream. However, with many events companies having seen a 90 per cent or higher reduction in revenues over the past 12 months, this really is a drop in the ocean.”

He said the forum would continue pushing for industry-specific support and hoped a “roadmap” to reopening would be offered when Boris Johnson gives an update on the lockdown next week.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, deputy leader of the council, said: “At the end of last year, we were quick to engage with our business community and assess those areas of our economy which were most in need of our help and support. The sectors which we have identified have been some the hardest hit, employ over 18,000 people in Bournemouth alone and support many other sectors which rely on the trade they generate for our three towns. I am therefore extremely pleased to be getting the extra support that was provided to us from government out the door and I believe we are one of the first councils in the country to do so.’’

“I also acknowledge the many challenges facing businesses of all sizes and sectors. We will continue to do everything that we can to support them over the coming months. This will include a third stream of longer-term discretionary support to help businesses safely reopen and recover. We are in the final stages for developing this stream and we will provide more information as soon as we can.’’