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Finance Minister needs to urgently provide financial support for licensed premises at sports clubs, says Muir

The Finance Minister needs to urgently provide financial support for licensed premises at sports clubs, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.

The North Down MLA was speaking after enquiring about the eligibility of premises operated by and contained within sports clubs under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. The response from Conor Murphy stated such premises are only liable for a lower rate of support due to being part of larger rateable premises.

“A number of sports clubs have been in contact with myself and colleagues throughout this pandemic, as they were required under the restrictions to close the doors of their licensed premises,” said Mr Muir.

“However, they are also deemed ineligible for full financial support available to others under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme.

“With closure again on the horizon, support needs to be given and given urgently. The Minister’s response will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to each of them. He needs to rethink his approach and provide full support for the licensed premises at clubs.

“If the Minister doesn’t, the economic consequences of the pandemic will continue to be felt by these clubs for years to come.”