FIVE Isle of Wight businesses must pay back £15,000 wrongly dished out to them as part of the government's Covid help scheme.

The grants are processed and paid by the Isle of Wight Council, on behalf of government, but five small businesses were given £25,000 instead of the correct £10,000.

They have now been asked to refund the money, several months after they thought they had been granted it.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson confirmed: “Over 4,000 grants have been processed and paid on behalf of central government.

"It has been identified that regrettably an error has been made on five, where payment of £25,000 under the retail hospitality and leisure scheme was made, when it should only be £10,000.

“We have written to those businesses affected to apologise and request return of overpaid amounts and while currently we haven’t received further recovery guidance, it is not the intention to cause hardship and we will work with those businesses to come to a mutually agreed payment arrangement.

“The error occurred where the rateable value (RV) of each of the business involved is exactly £15,000.

"The authority was receiving several versions of government guidance during March and April on the RV parameters for the schemes 2A and 2B and in relation to the business rates expanded retail relief.

“In relation to the grants, Scheme 2A covers RVs of anything up to and including £15,000 whereas RVs of £15,001 and above qualify for scheme 2B and the higher payment of £25,000.

“A reconciliation of funding and payments is required as local authorities administered payment of the grants and we were advised by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that this may be ongoing due to the post payment assurance process check.”

Read more: Isle of Wight Hunt granted £10,000 small business grant