Coronavirus: Omicron Hospitality Payment

News article

The Omicron Hospitality Payment will provide financial support of £40 million to the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland

Over 3,200 businesses will be eligible for a one-off grant payment under the scheme, subject to regulations. Payment levels will align with the Net Annual Value (NAV) for the relevant business property, as follows:

  • £10,000 for businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) up to £15,000; or businesses that are occupied as part of a property
  • £15,000 for businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) between £15,001 and £51,000
  • £20,000 for businesses that are the primary occupant operating from a property with a Net Annual Value (NAV) over £51,000

You can find the NAV and full address of business properties in the Non-Domestic Valuation List which is published online by Land & Property Services. Search the Non-Domestic Valuation List.

Eligible businesses will include:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants licensed under Article 5(1)(e) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996
  • Unlicensed restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Coffee shops
  • Bistros
  • Snack bars
  • Public houses licensed under Article 5(1)(a) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (including nightclubs) 
  • Social clubs and private members clubs (excluding sporting clubhouses)

Support for Sports Clubs
The Executive has recently agreed to extend the Omicron Hospitality Payment to include certain sports clubs with a licensed bar or restaurant facility. Regulations for this scheme extension are currently being developed. Sports clubs who consider that they may be eligible for the Omicron Hospitality Payment on this basis should NOT complete the Omicron Hospitality Payment Application Form currently published on this page. Details on the application process for Sports Clubs will be published here on week commencing 31 January.

The Omicron Hospitality Payment will be administered in line with the following financial regulations:

Further information about this scheme, including exclusions and frequently asked questions, is available in the Omicron Hospitality Payment: Scheme Guidance (PDF, 724K).

Application process: Hospitality businesses which received LRSS payments

Land & Property Services (LPS) sent an email to 3,247 eligible hospitality businesses which received support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) on Wednesday 19 January 2022. Hotels which received support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) will receive an email on week commencing 31 January 2022.

The email will include a link to an online form, where businesses will be asked to confirm some relevant information and complete a declaration in order to enable payments for the Omicron Hospitality Payment Scheme to issue.

These businesses should check their mailbox for this email, including Junk Mail folders. The email will be sent to the business email address that was used for LRSS. The subject line of this email is “Omicron Hospitality Payment: Apply Online” – this may help if you need to search your mailbox. If your business is a hospitality business which received LRSS payments and you have not received this email, contact  OHP@finance-ni.gov.uk.

Businesses will have the opportunity to report a change in circumstances since their last LRSS payment as part of the application process, such as a change in business premises or a new bank account. In these circumstances, applicant businesses will be required to submit further information about the change and to provide supporting documentation (in some circumstances). Full details will be provided to applicants during the online form.

If there has been no change in a business’ circumstances, the payment should be with the business within 7 to 10 working days of their application, depending on how long the payment takes to clear through the banking system. If circumstances have changed, LPS will need to carry out some further validation checks and gather some additional information, which will require additional time to process.

Application process: Hospitality businesses which did not receive LRSS payments

Hospitality businesses which did not receive support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme who would have been eligible for LRSS based on their circumstances at 21 December 2021, can apply for the Omicron Hospitality Payment by completing the 3 steps below:

  • Step 1: Complete the OHP Application Form
    Complete the OHP Application Form (DOC, 35K). You will need to download a copy of the form. You can fill it in on screen, or you can print it and fill it in by hand. If filling it in by hand, you will need to scan the completed form so that you can send it back by email.
     
  • Step 2: Gather any supporting documentation
    Gather any supporting documents that you are required to provide based on your circumstances, such as a bank statement or a lease. The OHP Application Form (DOC, 35K) will tell you what you need to provide.
     
  • Step 3: Submit your completed form and supporting documents by email
    Submit your completed OHP Application Form and supporting documents (if required) by email to OHP@finance-ni.gov.uk. To help us process applications as quickly as possible, please send one email only with all documents attached, rather than sending multiple emails.

The Omicron Hospitality Payment has recently been extended to hotels. Hotels which received support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS) will receive an email on week commencing 31 January 2022 inviting them to apply online. These business should NOT complete the 3 steps above, but should wait for their invitation to apply online.

Only businesses which did not receive LRSS payments should complete the three steps set out above to apply for the Omicron Hospitality Payment.

See further information about eligibility for LRSS. Applicants should note that only eligibility for the Omicron Hospitality payment will be assessed. There is no facility to retrospectively apply for support from the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, as LRSS has now closed.

Impact on funding through the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations

If you are a culture, languages, arts, heritage, sport, charities or social enterprise organisation and you apply for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, you must advise the Department for Communities (DfC) of any applications you have made or intend to make to other government funds, including the Omicron Hospitality Payment. Any payments (including offset payments) will be taken into account in assessing entitlement to the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations.

If you have not yet lodged your application for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, and you are eligible for the Omicron Hospitality Payment, you should include the Omicron Hospitality Payment in your Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations financial projections.

If you have already lodged your application for the Covid Recovery Programme for Organisations, you must inform the appropriate DfC appointed delivery organisation about the Omicron Hospitality Payment.

DfC and the Department of Finance will carry out data matching to avoid any double funding.

Other information

All information about the scheme and administration of the scheme will be managed online so that Land & Property Services staff can issue payments quickly. If you need to contact Land & Property Services about this scheme, you can email OHP@finance-ni.gov.uk.

First published 23 December 2021