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‘The outlook for the coming months remains very bleak with businesses set to remain closed or severely hampered by restrictions,’ said UKHospitality Scotland executive director Willie Macleod

Hospitality chiefs have welcomed the announcement of new government support for the sector in Scotland, which includes help for businesses excluded from previous measures.

UKHospitality Scotland executive director Willie Macleod said while the outlook remained “bleak” for many operators, the new measures were a “lifeline” for businesses left out of earlier support, including nightclubs and hotels.

Under the plans announced yesterday, tourism and hospitality businesses in Scotland will benefit from a £104m support package in the new year.

The package consists of:

  • £19.2m in one-off grants for hospitality businesses
  • £50.8m for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 that have not received support from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund or Hotel Support Programme and some additional support to smaller businesses affected by restrictions
  • £11.8m for international inbound, coach tourism and domestic tour operators
  • £7m for self-catering
  • £5m for visitor attractions
  • £2.5m for outdoor tourism
  • £2.3m for hostels
  • £2m for ski centres
  • £1.5m for travelling show people ineligible for other support
  • £1.2m for destination management organisations
  • £1m for B&Bs and guest houses excluded from the latest non-domestic rates scheme

Announcing the measures, Scotland’s tourism secretary Fergus Ewing said more work would be carried out to assess what additional support was needed in light of the announcement at the weekend of mainland Scotland moving to level 4 and the Scottish islands to level 3 from Boxing Day.

“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,” Ewing said. “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.”

Macleod said: “The hospitality and tourism sectors in Scotland have taken a huge hit this year so these specific grants for hospitality businesses are to be welcomed. We are glad that ministers have worked closely with us and acted on our concerns and come forward with this package of targeted financial support, which will be a lifeline for those businesses excluded from previous support such as hotels, wedding venues, nightclubs and tour operators.

“However, the outlook for the coming months remains very bleak with businesses set to remain closed or severely hampered by restrictions. We will continue to work closely with government to ensure they are fully aware of the support required by all hospitality businesses to get through this and so they are able to play their part in the economic recovery.”