Mallon opens third financial support scheme for the bus and coach sector

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has opened a third financial support scheme for the bus and coach sector.

By Claire Cartmill
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 4:31 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th February 2022, 4:32 pm
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon

Eligible businesses who have experienced financial losses of at least 40% between April 1 2021 and January 31 2022 will be able to apply.

Payment will be based on the reserves that licensed bus and coach operators are required to hold in satisfying the requirement of ‘financial standing’. This scheme will cover a period of 10 months (not 6 months as in the first two schemes). The payment will be paid pro-rata i.e. £13,350 for the first vehicle and £7,400 for each additional vehicle. The Department is committed to ensuring value for money. Operators will therefore be asked to provide evidence of their expenditure to cover the period between 1 April 2021 and the end of January 2022. This evidence will again require verification by a suitably qualified accountant.

The application process is open from until March 3 2022 and is available here: Bus Operator Financial Assistance Scheme Northern Ireland 2022 - NI Direct - Citizen Space.

Minister Mallon said: “There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to affect businesses here. This is true for some within the bus and coach sector. I have examined all the evidence presented to me and I have concluded that for some within this sector there is a need for further intervention which is why I am launching a third financial support scheme today. I have secured funding of £4m to provide assistance to those business who have experienced difficult trading conditions during this latest period of Covid-19 uncertainty.

“While providing business support is not within my Department’s remit I have stepped in to provide essential help for those struggling at what has been an exceptionally difficult and worrying time. I hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us and that those in the bus and coach sector and indeed all of us can begin to move forward with hope and as we look towards recovery from this pandemic.”

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