English UK writes to Chancellor of the Exchequer seeking immediate support
2 April 2020


English UK writes to Chancellor of the Exchequer seeking immediate support for ELT industry banner 2

English UK writes to Chancellor of the Exchequer seeking immediate support for ELT industry

We have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer warning that the UK ELT industry is facing an "existential threat" from Covid-19 and appealing for urgent help from the Treasury.

Jodie Gray, interim chief executive of English UK, has asked Rishi Sunak for the business rates holiday and cash grants scheme to be offered to ELT centres, and for accredited finance providers to process Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans as quickly as possible. Two English UK members have already stopped trading as a result of the pandemic and many more are on the brink of insolvency.

The business rates holiday scheme was originally created for the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, and has since been extended to nurseries, estate and letting agencies and bingo halls. Trade minister Conor Burns has already written to the Chancellor asking for rates relief to be extended to ELT after meeting English UK members and staff in Bournemouth in March.

In her letter to the Chancellor, Jodie writes:

"Most of the centres are privately-owned businesses in a seasonal sector which was hit particularly hard and early by Covid-19. This now poses an existential threat to a successful and important UK export industry.

"As part of the national effort to keep people safe, we recommended that ELT centres close their doors on Friday 20 March in line with publicly-funded education institutions.

"Now the UK's ELT industry is facing an unprecedented crisis and we fear many of these schools will never open again.

"Speed in relieving the pressure of fixed overheads and in accessing cash will make all the difference in saving ELT centres, safeguarding jobs and in ensuring that we are able to build up our industry once more when the outbreak abates."

In her letter, Jodie points out that Coronavirus began to affect ELT centres' cash flow around a month earlier than other sectors and the situation is now becoming desperate.

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