A HAMPSHIRE MP has called on the government to expand its business grants using £70 million of unallocated funds.

Conservative MP for Eastleigh, Paul Holmes, has written to the government calling for the £70 million of unallocated business grants, to be made available to other businesses in Hampshire that have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

According to figures collated by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum, Hampshire authorities received more than £400 million from central government in businesses grants but have so far only allocated £336 million of that funding.

The forum has now asked for permission from Government to keep the £70m of unallocated funds and disburse it locally.

Paul Holmes has said that while we are all now focusing on the recovery from Covid-19, he would like o see other businesses be supported.

He said: "The Government’s generous grant scheme has helped thousands of businesses during this difficult time. However, despite allocating over £336m to businesses across Hampshire, local authorities still have nearly £70m left. Rather than have this money go back to Government, I would like to see it spent locally in Hampshire helping even more businesses during this difficult time.

"Now that we are focusing on the recovery, I would like to see other businesses effected by COVID-19 supported through business grants such as manufacturing businesses, and those that have been badly impacted in the events and entertainment sector.”