Grants update

We’ve redesigned our grants page to help you see what funding you are entitled to and when – including details on what you will be able to claim for the current lockdown period.

If you have previously received Closed Addendum funding you do not need to apply again, you will automatically be paid for the period beginning 5 January 2021, and will also automatically be awarded the Closed Business Lockdown one-off payment.

If you haven’t applied for funding from the last few months, you still can. There is no closing date on applications for any of the grants except the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). Don’t worry if you haven’t yet applied for the ARG as it will be reopening soon for another round of funding, including for the previous lockdown period.

The government has also produced this coronavirus support finder so you can check you have applied for everything you are entitled to.

If you have any questions please call our business support helpline on 023 9284 1641.

View grants webpage

Do you deliver?

We are creating an online directory to help our residents know which local shops offer a delivery service. If you are a Portsmouth retail or hospitality business that is currently delivering please get in touch so we can add you to the directory. There is no cost for inclusion – just send us your business name, address, contact details (including website) and a short one line description of what you sell.


Contact us

Struggling with EU exports?

The new trading relationship with the EU means that companies are looking for alternative ways to get their exports to European markets. Portico, owned by the council and based at Portsmouth International Port have got a solution. A regular, scheduled weekly container service to the Port of Antwerp means you can drop your goods at the port and go. Portico can take care of the red tape too, with an experienced, in-house customs agency.

The Port of Antwerp has extensive rail, river and road connections to the rest of Europe, meaning that once they arrive, you can get your goods to where they need to go, quickly and easily.

Find out more about the scheduled container services they offer, which also include West Africa, the Caribbean and the Channel Islands on their website.

View Portico webpage

HMRC Brexit webinars

HMRC are still running webinars to help you navigate the new changes and continue trading with the EU.

Exporting: Actions you need to take now: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Key processes include – zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.

Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: You now need to complete import or export declarations to trade goods with the EU. These are complex and a lot of businesses choose to use an intermediary to do these for them.

This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader if you choose to use an intermediary.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.

What are customs import declarations?: If you import goods, you now need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June. This webinar will help you understand what they are in more detail. This includes what is needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, how to make them, and delayed import declarations.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

Importing: What you need to know about Staged Controls: This webinar will walk you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1‌‌ January‌‌ ‌2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599.

View youtube channel

Solent LEP offers Brexit advice

Solent LEP is offering a whole range of resources and support for your business post-Brexit.

Brexit advice for your business:

The LEP is offering up to five hours of one to one business advice which will include helping you identify the actions you need to take for your business in response to Brexit transition. Find out more.

Brexit advice on supply chain and contracts: 

Aimed at businesses in the Solent, with a minimum turnover threshold of £2m and with the need to asses critical issues and disruption in supply chains, the support available will focus on supporting you with contracts and supplier management, supply chain and supplier risk review and spend analysis. Find out more.

View webpage

Rapid testing update

You may have seen in the news recently that rapid testing is due to be rolled out across the country soon. Details on the testing of asymptomatic workers who can’t work from home are still being developed, however the prioritisation of asymptomatic testing will focus on critical workers who have to have contact with the general public and are therefore at risk of catching and spreading the virus.

Rapid testing isn’t a quick fix for reducing infection rates and until vaccines are rolled out more widely the single most important action we can all take to save lives and protect the NHS is follow government guidance and stay at home apart for essential reasons. You can play your part by making sure you and your staff are working from home wherever possible.

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Mary Rose virtual tour praised

The Mary Rose museum has been included in The Guardian’s pick of ten of the best virtual travel experiences for 2021.

According to the article: “Visit Portsmouth’s latest project is guaranteed to fascinate budding young historians. The new interactive photosphere of the Mary Rose rotates 360 degrees along a walkway between the vessel’s wooden carcass and the artefacts that were found with the 16th-century wreck – and provides a good second-best to visiting in person. The Mary Rose Museum holds the largest collection of Tudor artefacts of its kind in the world and the photosphere lays out all the key discoveries from Henry VIII’s favourite warship through rotating clickable icons.”

View the tour here

Salamanca takes to the water

The next ship to join Brittany Ferries’ fleet in Portsmouth will be called Salamanca, she will be powered by cleaner LNG and she took to the water for the first time last week.

Salamanca’s launch ceremony took place on 6 January 2021 at the CMJL shipyard in Weihai, China, where she is under construction. She is the second of three E-Flexer class ships ordered by Brittany Ferries and will join sister-ship Galicia, also based in Portsmouth, when she enters service in the spring of 2022.

Salamanca will be powered by cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas). This is a fuel which emits virtually no sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide or particulate emissions, following combustion. In addition, because LNG burns more efficiently than diesel, there is a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) output of around 25 percent. This will help Portsmouth International Port reach ambitious carbon reduction and air quality targets that have been set out in their air quality action plan.

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University Entrepreneur workshop

The University of Portsmouth is running a Lean Startup event on Monday 18 January 2021 at 17:30. Questions it aims to answer include:

  • Have you spent months and years perfecting your business ideas and new products to the market?
  • How do you know your prospective customers are interested in your business ideas and products?
  • Are you communicating the right message to your prospective customers?
  • Should your business be built?

The Lean Start-up workshop will help you answer these questions to kick start your business campaign.

Sign up here

New webinar for friends and family interested in teaching

Teach Portsmouth is pleased to update partners on an upcoming webinar, perfect for friends and family considering a move to teaching. The webinar will take place on Wednesday 27 January from 4pm.

Two teachers who work in Portsmouth will talk about switching to the profession and the routes they took into it. Sean Archibald who worked as an engineer and Tarryn Williams who worked as a police community support officer will take participants on their teaching journey. From how they made the decision to top tips on making the move. Simon Barrable, principal at Portsmouth College will host the webinar.

Friends and family will have an opportunity to post questions in a live Q&A during the session. To be involved, participants will need to register on the Teach Portsmouth website.

Find out more