THE council and business leaders are calling on the Government to “cut red tape” around funding rules.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants greater flexibility to distribute £11 million it has already been given by the Government to allocate to local businesses.

The council has already given about £3.7 million in discretionary grants to more than 300 small businesses.

But demand for these vastly outstripped the money available. More than 900 small businesses applied, leaving more than 600 seeking grants amounting to £7 million.

Council leader Nancy Platts said: “We’re calling on the Government to do the right thing. Jobs and livelihoods must always come first, not rules and regulations. We’re desperate to give out the £11 million but it’s the Government’s own red tape that’s stopping us.”