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Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Ventilation Fund

Last updated: 1 Mar 2022 - see all updates
Published: 16 Nov 2021

Guidance on who is eligible, what can be claimed and how to apply.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business Ventilation Fund


In order to be considered for this funding businesses must meet the eligibility criteria. Eligible sectors that may be able to claim funding for eligible costs to improve their ventilation are detailed below. It is for a local authority on behalf of the Scottish Ministers to determine if a business meets the description and further information may be requested by them, where necessary, to determine eligibility of applications.


(these are subject to review throughout the lifetime of the fund)

  • arcades and amusements
  • art galleries and museums
  • banks
  • B&Bs/guesthouses
  • bookmakers/betting shops
  • cafes
  • casinos
  • cinemas
  • close contact services*
  • comedy clubs
  • community, function and multi-purpose event venues (including wedding venues)
  • conference centres
  • day care of children services
  • essential retail
  • estate agents
  • GP surgeries
  • hostels
  • hotels
  • indoor bowling alleys
  • indoor crazy golf
  • indoor football centres
  • indoor gyms
  • indoor soft play/role centre
  • laser tag and escape rooms
  • lawyer's offices
  • leisure centres
  • licensed bingo clubs
  • licensed sport and social clubs
  • music and event venues
  • nightclubs
  • non-essential retail
  • pharmacies
  • places of worship
  • pool and snooker clubs
  • post offices
  • public houses
  • theatres
  • restaurants and licensed cafes
  • sexual entertainment venues
  • service stations
  • swimming pools
  • trampoline and adventure parks
  • takeaway
  • yoga/dance/exercise studios

* Examples of close contact services

  • hairdressing and barber services
  • beauty and nail services (including make-up services)
  • hair removal services
  • tattoo, piercing and body modification services
  • fashion design, dress-fitting and tailoring services
  • indoor portrait photography and art services
  • massage therapies
  • complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services
  • spa and wellness services
  • other services or procedures which require physical contact or close physical proximity between a provider and a customer and are not ancillary to medical, health or social care services

All businesses who wish to apply to the Business Ventilation fund will be required to complete a self-assessment of the ventilation of their premises to provide proof of need prior to confirming any eligibility to the fund or carrying out works. Completion of this will form part of the application process. 

Closing date

New applications must be submitted by 11 March 2022.

Further business eligibility

In addition to being in an eligible sector, the following eligibility must be met by any business applying for funding.

The business must have physical premises as the main occupier and be responsible for paying non domestic rates including where there exists an exemption. This will be evidenced by providing the unique Identifier number. The grant is available for businesses with premises registered for non-domestic rates (NDR) as of 1 November 2021 (this excludes any business latterly becoming a NDR payer from this date).

To be eligible an individual business must have a rateable value of under £51,000.

If the rateable value exceeds this then an individual business with an annual turnover of no more than £43m and no more than 250 employees may be eligible.

Businesses that pay rates through their landlords may also apply, local authorities may request documentation proving this, such as a lease or a rental agreement, or other evidence showing that the applicant is explicitly or contractually liable for charges associated with non-domestic rates for the property.

The business will need to be classed as a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Business. Businesses that operate from single or multiple premises with an overall rateable value footprint in excess of £500,000 are NOT eligible to claim support through this funding.

Premises eligibility

The business owner must have explicit permission either as the building owner or tenant to make changes to the premises including seeking planning permissions where this is necessary from the relevant authority. This may be through lease agreement which includes responsibility for improvements to the premises or having gained the agreement of the landlord to carry out the works before applying. 

Businesses operating in a listed building and/or conservation areas must have the correct consents to make any material alterations or changes. It is an individual business’ responsibility to ensure that all relevant permissions have been received before undertaking work. This can be checked on the Historic Environment Scotland or by contacting your local authority planning department to discuss any potential work which you propose to carry out to improve ventilation in a listed building. During the application process, businesses will be required to submit a declaration to confirm they have relevant permissions to have carried out the works they are claiming costs for.

For businesses that have large mechanical ventilation systems in the majority of their premises, applications are restricted to the purchase of monitoring equipment only.

Businesses that use a mixture of natural and mechanical solutions (hybrid) to ventilate their premises are eligible to apply for funding to improve airflow in areas that are not otherwise ventilated through a mechanical ventilation system.

Other eligibility criteria

Provided they meet all other eligibility criteria, businesses which are Limited Companies (including social enterprises), Sole Traders, Trusts, Partnerships, Community Interest Companies or Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations, may apply for funding.

The public sector or arm’s length external organisations (ALEOs) are not eligible.

The business must be actively trading, and where necessary, local authorities can request additional evidence to determine eligibility, for example Company Registration number or UTR number.

The business must not have connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020.

Subsidy control

Applicants are required to declare all previous support received from UK, Scottish or local government support schemes to provide local authorities with the necessary information to ensure payments are made correctly and compliant with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the TCA with the EU. Department for

Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published guidance at Gov.uk for public authorities explaining the subsidies chapter of the TCA, World Trade Organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments.

Multiple premises

Where a business operates multiple premises, it can apply for a grant for each premise which is eligible. An upper limit of £50,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises. The business must provide details in the application form of all the properties for which it is applying for a grant and clearly indicate which property is the headquarters.

The local authority in which the headquarters is based will administer the application for all eligible premises of a single business or group. Where the headquarters are not based in Scotland, a single application should be submitted to the local authority selected by the business.

Where there are multiple uses within the same premises, subject to all the eligibility criteria being met one grant should be awarded per business entity (i.e. registered at companies house). 

First published: 16 Nov 2021 Last updated: 1 Mar 2022 -