Doubt over value for money of Covid support scheme

Event in Jersey
Image caption,

Events across Jersey were cancelled due to Covid-19

At a glance

  • The scheme met its objectives, a review has found

  • It is "difficult" to assess its value for money

  • The scheme helped 18 events businesses who were hit by the impact of Covid-19

  • It gave out £1.2m in funding

  • Published

It has been difficult to assess the value of a scheme to support events businesses through the pandemic, a report has said.

Jersey's Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme (VAES) provided £1.2m of government funds for 18 businesses, and overall met its objectives, the States of Jersey said.

A review concluded the scheme helped to retain key attractions which suffered from reduced footfall due to Covid-19, and secured economic infrastructure to enable the continuation of large-scale events.

However the report said: "It is difficult to precisely assess the value for money of the scheme and whether a similar result could have been achieved with less financial support.

"Some of the objectives may have been achieved without the VAES or the specific level of financial support, however, there would have been trade-offs and it’s likely that the VAES contributed to the achievement of its objectives," it said.

It added that is was "likely that some of the funding provided was directed towards businesses that would have survived without the economic support".

The government said the scheme provided a "relatively quick pay out against a light touch initial assessment of qualifying costs".

They said this supported cashflow pressures in a timely manner - with a more detailed audit following on at a later stage, where "no material findings were reported".

loading features stories