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£10m fund set up for riot-hit businesses

London, UK (30/08/2011)

LONDON (Growing Business) A £10m emergency fund has been created to help businesses decimated by the recent riots get back on their feet.

The High Street Fund — which goes live for applications tomorrow — will offer grants of around £2,000 to businesses which suffered theft or vandalism during the wave of violence that erupted a fortnight ago.

Headed by Sir William Castell, chairman of the Wellcome Trust, the fund has received significant contributions from high-street banking giants RBS, Lloyds and Santander, as well as blue-chip companies such as BP and Deloitte.

London mayor Boris Johnson, who has undertaken a sweeping tour of his city’s riot-ravaged communities, is expected to pledge £500,000 to the initiative.

Briefing reporters on the new fund, Castell said: “The first thing is get cash to people who need it urgently — to pay staff, carry out repairs and order more stock. Then we need business mentors to help restore hope and confidence to help people back on their feet.“This fund is about providing real help to businesses who need help now.”

The first grants will be paid out from Tuesday next week, and applicants must possess a police reference number to be eligible for funding. For further information, visit the High Street Fund website.

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