CASE STUDY: CARDIFF COUNCIL

Busting a business grants backlog for Cardiff Council

CASE STUDY: CARDIFF COUNCIL

When lockdown saw Cardiff’s business rates team prioritising grant payments over rates collection, NPS stepped in to boost capacity and help bust the backlog.

ADAPTING TO NEW PRIORITIES

Almost overnight, Cardiff Council’s business rates team had to shift focus from collecting rates to administering business grant applications. It posed all sorts of challenges for their six-strong team, as Revenue Services Manager Gary Watkins explains:

“The introduction of the grants during lockdown gave businesses much-needed financial support, but it also generated a vast amount of queries and applications. Annual Billing is already our busiest period, and we were soon managing a six-fold increase in our workload and the cases were building up.”

Gary asked NPS to step in and help reduce the backlog, and within just a few weeks they were up and running.

“NPS worked seamlessly alongside our team for four months, processing more than three thousand cases. It gave us the space we needed to manage the most complex work.”

Gary Watkins
Revenue Services Manager

OFF TO A FLYING START

As long-standing users of NPS Revenues & Benefits, the council turned to NPS rather than agency staff. Gary explains: “We’ve used temporary staff in the past, but training would have been so much harder with everyone working at home. We knew NPS had the right expertise as well as software, so they were the best option to keep us on track.”

Two NPS team members and a supervisor got up to speed quickly, helping the council to:

  • answer business grant queries
  • manage standard business rates enquiries
  • process grant claims
  • monitor progress through a weekly report

Gary was able to step back from weekly meetings once the team was off and running. Then, as the backlog reduced, was able to cut the amount of support down to one full-time equivalent.

With the Welsh Government set to introduce a new tranche of business support grants from October 2020, Gary has already asked NPS to provide one full-time equivalent for a period of three months.

“I needed an efficient solution fast, and with NPS that’s exactly what I got.”

Gary Watkins
Revenue Services Manager
£68.4m
£68.4m
paid out in business grants
13,000
13,000
rateable properties
4
4
months of NPS support
3357
3357
cases completed by NPS

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