The government is setting up a £20m high street support scheme to help retailers reeling from this week’s riots.

Businesses damaged during the unrest will be able to apply for compensation under the Riot Damages Act even if they do not have insurance. The deadline for submitting claims has been extended to 42 days, following a request from the Association of Convenience Stores.

A further £10m will be made available to “help repair communities”.

Announcing the measures, Prime Minister David Cameron said tax payments would be deferred for those worst hit, while planning regulations would also be examined following claims by retailers that red tape prevented them installing metal shutters.

“We called for the extension for claims under the Riot Damages Act from 14 to 42 days in meetings and discussions with the home secretary and business secretary this week,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman. “We are grateful they have listened and have taken this practical step.”

Lowman added: “We also welcome the fund to support high streets and the further funding to help repair communities. Retailers have to be at the heart of rebuilding the communities they serve.”

Cameron also confirmed that 16,000 police would remain on the streets throughout the weekend.

Read more
Demand for swift justice over riot damage (11 August 2011)
Retailers warned to submit insurance claims immediately (Convenience Store; 10 August 2011)