Council wins national award for pandemic response

Covid business grants award ceremony
Nick Ducatel, Lewes District Council (left), receiving the award from Andrew Hetherton, the outgoing IRRV President (right).

Lewes District Council has won a top "excellence in innovation" award for the online system the council developed to ensure a fast and efficient distribution of business grants during the height of the pandemic.

In Lewes district a massive £35,557,037 was quickly paid out to 3,554 businesses.

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) award recognised the collaboration between the council, Walsall Council and Ascendent Solutions, with the number one objective being the payment of the right grant to the right business as quickly as possible, in tandem with the rapid collection of information, ensuring it was accurate, preventing fraud and drastically reducing administrative time.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "This was a real triumph at a time when local businesses urgently needed our support.

"As a result of the brilliant I.T. development work undertaken, our council led the way when other authorities were getting bogged down in paperwork that caused lengthy payment delays to businesses in dire need.

"My grateful thanks go to all those involved in this outstanding piece of work."