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Self-employed Highlands cycling tour guide fears income support will not come fast enough

Mark Clark from Fort William
Mark Clark from Fort William

A self-employed tour guide fears delays in receiving support from the government will leave many like him “up the river without a paddle”.

Mark Clark, from Fort William, has run mountain bike trips across the north for international visitors for the last seven years.

However, a shutdown of visitors has left the 29-year-old facing the prospect of little or no income during the summer months.

Last night Mr Clark explained that the chancellor’s announcement had made him unsure whether he would even be entitled to support, due to him working elsewhere during the rest of the year.

But he was certain that having to wait until June for assistance would leave many in his position facing hard or impossible decisions in the coming months.

He said: “If that was my main income and I would have to wait until June for support, then I don’t know what I would do.

“I’ve been saving up to start a croft and I might just have to eat into those savings just to keep going – other people will just end up in debt, with loans or whatever.

“Being told to wait until June will leave folk up the river without a paddle, I don’t think it’s quick enough. I think a lot of my friends will really struggle.”

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