Voucher scheme update

Voucher scheme update

We’ve had some news back on this from B4RN as follows, and it does get a bit complicated so I’ll do my best to set it out as simply as I can:

  • DCMS responded that more of the postcodes included in the whole area application will also have to be excluded as there has already been some government money allocated to properties in the same postcode (n.b. this can be money for contracts that have been awarded but where work has not been started), this primarily affects some, but not all, of the properties on Route 1 and central Rathmell
  • DCMS have now accepted the whole area application once it was resubmitted without those postcodes
  • non-business properties in excluded postcodes will not be able to be included in the whole area application that B4RN have submitted and so will not be eligible to apply under the voucher scheme
  • B4RN have found that they have been able to successfully apply on a single property basis for a business that is in one of the postcodes that is excluded under the whole area application so it seems the rules are different for businesses

B4RN will be inputting the relevant lists of postcodes for both the project area and the postcodes that are eligible for a voucher under the whole area application into their online form and will notify me when it is ready for people to sign up. The online process will automatically give you the relevant form for a voucher / non-voucher based on your property postcode.

This may well mean that there will be places where one residential property is eligible for a voucher and their immediate neighbour is not purely based on them having a different postcode.  I have to stress that this is solely due to the DCMS rules and not under the control of either B4RN or the local project team.  We should just treat it as a bonus that the whole area can get some benefit for every voucher that we can make use of.

Important: on the non-voucher version of the form it will have a tick box for you to say whether the property is a business or not – if you tick this box the B4RN office will follow up with you to go through a single business application on your behalf, and as part of the process will need to see one of the following pieces of evidence for the business:

  • VAT registration
  • Charity Registration
  • HMRC notification/letter stating the sole trader/partnership UTR number
  • Certification of incorporation (Limited Companies)
  • Business bank account statement issued within the last three months
  • Non-domestic rates reference
  • A Recent utility bill  

A qualifying business can be anything from a sole trader / micro business (e.g. a mobile hair dresser who does their books at home) up to a medium sized company, or a farm.  It does not unfortunately apply to people like me who work from home for a company based elsewhere.

Benefits of the voucher scheme to the property owner are as follows:

For a business (either under the whole area application or single property application) : £300 cash back towards costs of getting across the curtilage / house kit installation and the normal £150 connection fee is waived, so an effective £450

For a residential property: £150 cash back towards costs of getting across the curtilage / house kit installation and the normal £150 connection fee is waived, so an effective £300n.b. the cash back is payable when B4RN get confirmation from DCMS that the connection is live, and DCMS check this by emailing the property owner when B4RN tell DCMS they have been connected.  These emails must be responded to within 28 days or the voucher becomes void and B4RN don’t get to claim their costs back and the property owner would not get the cash back.The benefit to the project is that whatever costs B4RN can claim back for a property on the voucher scheme will be ploughed back into the same project allowing us to do more and reduce the amount of overall investment required.