A COUNCIL is furious with the Government over an £11 million coronavirus “funding snub”.

Brighton and Hove City Council has expressed frustration at the Government’s refusal to adapt its funding rules and allow desperate businesses to get hold of about £11 million in financial support.

In April the Government gave the council £83 million, asking it to distribute £73 million in small business grants based on a strict funding formula.

But the council said that due to business closures and problems with eligibility, it has only been able to allocate about £68 million.

The council has also given out some £3.7 million in discretionary grants to more than 300 small businesses.

But it claimed inflexible Government rules are stopping it from allocating the remaining £11 million through more discretionary grants.

It said demand vastly outstripped the money that was offered.

More than 900 small businesses applied, leaving more than 600 seeking grants amounting to £7 million.

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Essentially, we have learned that the Government will not allow councils like ours to redistribute unspent parts of the grant designed to support local businesses.”

He said the council was “desperate” to give out the other £11m and fuming at the prospect of having to hand it back.

“We know from the many local businesses who have been in touch that they are very frustrated by this,” he said.

“Being able to use money already allocated for this seems a common-sense approach, when we know so many businesses are in need of financial assistance.”