The Government of Jersey has announced the introduction of a Visitor Accommodation Subsidy Scheme, specifically targeted at supporting the Islands’ visitor accommodation sector.
GoJ recognises that significant visitor accommodation demand is unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels in the short to medium term, and recognises the importance to the Islands’ economy of ensuring Jersey maintains its visitor accommodation to preserve the foundations of its core tourism and hospitality sector.
GoJ’s objective is to ensure Jersey emerges from the pandemic with a visitor accommodation offering which remains attractive to business and leisure users. Consequently, the scheme is focused on preserving the quality and diversity of bed-stock rather than directly subsidising business activities which are outside of the scope of the scheme (such as restaurants and bars). The scheme is therefore structured as a room subsidy, the level of which depends on the accommodation’s rating (standard or 4/5 star) and is capped at 80% of the monthly fixed costs.
The scheme offers significant support to visitor accommodation providers, but is subject to equally significant restrictions and eligibility criteria. Accounts must be provided on request, potentially onerous declarations must be made, and restrictions are imposed on declaring dividends and on director salaries/ owner remuneration. Importantly, support must be refunded to GoJ if the business closes or the property is sold within three years of receiving a claim.
Full scheme guidance, including qualifying criteria, restrictive conditions and details of eligible fixed costs are available from the GoJ here.