BROMSGROVE District Council has hit back at national news allegations suggesting they have failed in handing out Covid grants for struggling firms.

According to the Daily Telegraph, as of mid-January, £1.6bn of financial aid had still not been handed out to companies by councils across the country, out of £2.4bn of allocated funding.

The national newspaper named the Bromsgrove council as "among the worst offenders" with Islington and Southampton, highlighting they have handed out less than one per cent of their Additional Restrictions Support Grants (ARG) allocation as of January 18, 2021.

According to the article: "There is a growing fury in Whitehall over a failure to dish out money that is meant to keep small firms afloat, with almost 90pc of funds from one scheme meant to be shared over Christmas still not yet delivered."

Now, the leader of Bromsgrove District Council Karen May has responded to the claims, outlining that 60 per cent of funding received has been handed out and that a "prudent approach" is being taken in its allocation.

She said: “It’s disappointing not to have had the opportunity to correct the information in the Telegraph.

“The government provided money for ‘discretionary grants’ to support businesses impacted by coronavirus for the period up to 31st March 2022, and was clear that this money would not be topped up.

“We have therefore taken a prudent approach to ensure businesses can be supported for the whole period for which funding was made available, which is up to April next year.

“So far the council has paid out 20 per cent of this discretionary funding, or £406,000. A further £698,000 is being paid to businesses to support them until the end of national restrictions on 12th April.

“In total 60 per cent of funding we received from government has been allocated, and as more businesses approach us for help this percentage will increase.”