Over 2,000 businesses in Darlington have been provided with nearly £25 million from UK Government to support them in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is part of a range of schemes set up to help businesses survive following difficulties in trading during the lockdown period.

Darlington Borough Council has been administering the grants and loans over the past few weeks in an attempt to fast-track deadlines for those businesses who most require the support.

Grants have been provided in two sections with small businesses, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses receiving nearly £24 million, while a further £1 million will be put towards discretionary grants.

The Leader of Darlington Borough Council, Councillor Heather Scott, said: “These have been incredibly challenging times for business locally and nationally, with little or no revenue coming in and bills to pay. Thankfully, through these grants from central government, we have been able to offer a lifeline to help local businesses survive.

“Time was of the essence in dealing with this situation. We had to make sure that grants reached businesses quickly before it was too late. Recognition must go to the dedicated teams of council staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure these grants were administered and distributed in what must be record time.”

Continued help and support are available through the council’s business support team. They can be contacted by email at business.support@darlington.gov.uk