Mon 21 Dec 20
Tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland are to benefit from a £104.3 million package of support in the New Year.
The funding is part of the short term response to the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce recommendations and follows lengthy discussions with industry to target support specifically where it is needed the most.
It is part of the £185 million package previously announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
Further work will be urgently undertaken to establish what additional support is needed in light of the announcement to move mainland Scotland to level four and the Scottish islands to level three from Boxing Day.
Businesses required to close by law are currently able to claim up to £3,000 every four weeks through the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
Details and opening dates for all funding pots will be announced in due course.
Further information about eligibility requirements for the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
It’s been a particularly bruising year for our tourism and hospitality sectors. The COVID-19 crisis has shattered previously successful businesses and we are committed to doing everything possible to get them back on their feet. These funding streams seek to throw a lifeline to some sectors that we know are particularly vulnerable and may not have access to help from other sources.
We’ve already invested well over £2.3 billion to support businesses across Scotland, including 100% rates relief for pubs and restaurants but we know this is not enough. The restrictions, as necessary as they are, continue to have a profound effect and it is fair to say that tourism and hospitality businesses are feeling it more than most. This funding will provide a vital lifeline in the build up to what should be much of the industry’s busiest time of the year.
The funding aligns in the short term with many of the tourism taskforce’s recommendations and I am grateful to it for its work on this.
Clearly, in light of the enhanced restrictions announced at the weekend to control the spread of the virus, we will be undertaking further work on what additional support is needed by businesses, including for the longer term. There is a need to move quickly to ensure the sector is adequately supported and ready to go again, when the time is right.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing
Having considered the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce report and recommendations, the Scottish Government has:
We welcome today’s Scottish Government budget announcement outlining a £104 million package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support available to the tourism and events industry.
This funding will help a number of sectors which have so far received very little support and I’m pleased to see tour operators, self-catering businesses, hostels, outdoor tourism, ski centres and visitor attractions receiving specific help. VisitScotland will be administering some of these funds and we will announce when they will open as soon as possible as we understand people are desperate for support.
This news comes at a crucial time to support this vital part of the economy into 2021 as tourism, events and hospitality are faced with more uncertainty as we enter a period of tougher restrictions across Scotland.
The most recent results of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) industry survey – published last week – paint a very sombre picture of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on Scottish tourism.
The results showed that a fifth of all businesses still in operation have no cash reserves left and 50% only have cash to last the next three to six months. 18% of businesses have also stated that they do not qualify for any financial support.
A thriving tourism industry is essential to lead Scotland’s recovery. It is a force for good by not only providing jobs and economic benefits to every corner of the country, but also bringing benefits to our wellbeing and society.
VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead