Details of a £104 million fund for tourism and hospitality has been revealed as ministers are “considering” further aid for the industries to help deal with the latest Covid-19 restrictions.
As part of a £185 million package announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes last week, the tourism and hospitality funding will provide short term, targeted relief for the industry.
Available funding includes £19.2 million to provide one-off grants for hospitality businesses; £11.8 million for international inbound, coach tourism and domestic tour operators; £7 million for self-catering and £5 million for visitor attractions.
Businesses required to close by law are currently able to claim up to £3,000 every four weeks through the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “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.”
The Scottish Government say further work will be undertaken to establish additional support when mainland Scotland moves into Level 4 lockdown and the Scottish islands to Level 3 lockdown from Boxing Day.