WREXHAM Council has pledged to pay out support money for businesses hit by the latest set of Welsh Government restrictions as soon as possible.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced new measures on Monday (November 30) to tackle a recent increase in coronavirus cases in Wales.

It means that from Friday, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol.

After 6pm they will only be able to provide takeaway services, with indoor entertainment and visitor attractions also required to shut.

Mr Drakeford said a support package worth £340m would be made available to those impacted by the decision.

And with local authorities tasked with administering payments, the leader of Wrexham Council has promised it will get funding out to businesses in the area quickly.

Cllr Mark Pritchard said: “The announcement’s been made by the government and we all have to respect that.

“What I want to make clear to all the businesses in Wrexham is that we worked tirelessly last time to get payments out and will work tirelessly this time to get them out.

“We understand how important it is that the money is paid between now and Christmas and over into the New Year.

“I want that message to get out because these are people’s jobs and livelihoods and it’s difficult for them all.”

The latest funding has been split into two pots, including a £160m restrictions fund and a £180m economic resilience grant scheme.

The first sum will enable eligible businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors which pay non-domestic rates to access grants of up to £5,000.

In addition, firms will be able to apply for part of a sector-specific fund, which could see small and medium sized businesses receive as much as £100,000, while larger companies could get up to £150,000.

As well as administering funding, the council’s chief executive said it could also be required to undertake extra enforcement action to ensure businesses are complying with the new restrictions.

Ian Bancroft said: “We have an enforcement team set up that has been proactively working and you’ll have seen in the press where we have taken action when restrictions haven’t been met.

“From our perspective, clearly from where we were it will be an increase in work, but it isn’t an increase compared to we’ve been previously at other stages during the Covid outbreak.”

More information about the funding and how it can be accessed will be published on the Business Wales website in the coming days.