Larger hotels get share in £14m pot to ‘save jobs’

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Two new funding packages for hotels and self caterers totalling £15 million have been announced.

The Scottish Government said its £14 million ‘Hotel Recovery Programme’ fund aims to secure up to 3,000 jobs at Scotland’s larger hotels until the start of the summer 2021 season.

Eligible businesses can apply for up to £250,000 and get specialist business support and advice too.

VisitScotland will also deliver £1 million in grants to those self-catering businesses which have not received any other Scottish Government coronavirus support, it said.

Self catering businesses that meet the criteria in an application will be eligible for a one-off £10,000 grant to support them through the winter season, it said.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘We recognise the important contribution the hotel sector makes to tourism and the wider Scottish economy, supporting approximately 46,000 jobs across the country.

‘The Hotel Recovery Programme is a dedicated funding package designed to safeguard jobs in these establishments and offer some security until the new tourist season begins in summer 2021.

Enterprise agencies, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise will begin taking expressions of interest for the hotel fund in late August, the government said.

Applications for the self-catering support scheme will open in the early part of August.

VisitScotland will work alongside The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) to review applications from self-caterers.

Dr Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the fund would be welcomed by those eligible who had not yet received any support.

She said: ‘This new support will help to secure some jobs in the sector that have come under serious threat of being lost, for the time being.

‘However, while this support will be appreciated by these businesses, concerns remain that ongoing costs coupled with low demand continue to place tourism and hospitality jobs at severe risk.

‘Getting those sectors who support our bars, cafes and restaurants back to work in the safe environments they have created is critical if we are to save jobs and livelihoods.

‘Further support and reliefs will be required in the future in order to secure the long- term viability of the sector.’