Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has opened a £5m financial assistance scheme for Private Coach and Bus Operators.
Eligible private coach and bus operators will receive £8,000 for the first vehicle and £4,450 for each additional vehicle in their fleet or their actual loss for the period April to September, if the loss is lower.
The scheme payment to an individual operator is capped at £100k.
Minister Mallon said:
“I understand the challenges, uncertainty and upheaval that Private Coach and Bus Operators have experienced during this pandemic and the significant adverse impact that these unprecedented times have had on their businesses. I have listened carefully to their concerns and from being given new powers to provide financial support on the 3 November, I have worked as quickly as possible to get this financial assistance scheme up and running.
“This scheme for eligible Private Coach and Bus Operators opens today until midnight on Friday 18 December. I encourage everyone who is eligible, to apply as soon as possible to enable payments to be made as soon as the checking and verification process is complete. I have asked my officials to work quickly to process payments as quickly as possible.
“I hope that this funding along with the £300,000 provided earlier in the year to waive fees for the renewal of bus vehicle licences will provide some compensation for the financial losses incurred recently by private Coach and Bus operators as a result of the pandemic.”
Notes to editors:
- The scheme is open to Private Coach and Bus operators and excludes Translink, the Education Authority, and Community Transport Providers. To be eligible to apply for the scheme each private Coach or Bus operator must hold a valid Northern Ireland bus operator licence and their main business activity needs to be the carriage of passengers and their luggage by road for reward. They will need to demonstrate a loss of income due to Covid -19 over the period 1 April to 30 September 2020 of at least 40% compared to previous years. In order to ensure value for money, each operator will need to provide evidence of their income and expenditure from April to September 2020 and have this signed off by a qualified accountant.
- In addition a number of operators will have received the £25k NI Business Grant Scheme or other Executive financial support grants.
- Information about how to apply to the financial support scheme is available at the following links: https://consultations.nidirect.gov.uk/dfi-driving-policy-branch/bus-scheme/ and BusCoachFundingScheme@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org Out of hours, please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
- Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure
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