BUSINESSES in Winsford and Middlewich have begun accessing millions of pounds from the Government to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first wave of funds has been distributed by both Cheshire councils this week.

A total of £8.5 million has been paid out to the first of 6,000 firms eligible for support in Cheshire West, including Winsford.

Of those businesses, 3,200 have responded with bank details to receive the cash, and the first 800 have been supported.

Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: "We are making great progress for those businesses that have registered, but we know there are still thousands of businesses who are entitled to this money and we urge them to register with our online system so that we can get the money to them as quickly as possible."

A further 8,000 businesses in Cheshire East, including Middlewich are also set to be supported with eligible businesses set to be funded from today, April 7.

Cheshire East Council says that by the time all businesses in its borough receive financial support, it will have handed over close to £90 million.

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Cllr Amanda Stott, CEC cabinet member for finance, IT and communications, said: “This is incredibly important grant funding and it offers a crucial lifeline to our local businesses during the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"CEC has one of the largest and most vibrant business sectors in the country and fantastic entrepreneurs – and I am proud that Cheshire East Council is playing its part in helping to support them and protect our local economy and jobs."

For more information on what grants are on offer and how to apply for the cash, see in Winsford or in Middlewich.