Two new funding packages worth £15 million will support the tourism sector as it continues to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A £14 million Hotel Recovery Programme will help to secure up to 3,000 jobs at Scotland’s larger hotels until the start of the summer 2021 tourism season.
Eligible businesses can apply for individual grants of up to £250,000 in addition to a suite of wrap-around business support and advice.
The Programme will be jointly administered by the Scottish Government’s enterprise agencies and builds on the existing funding and support for tourism businesses through the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund and the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.
VisitScotland will also deliver £1 million in grants to self-catering businesses that have not received any other Scottish Government COVID-19 support. Businesses that apply and meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off £10,000 grant to support them through the winter season.
The Enterprise Agencies (Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise and VisitScotland) will begin taking expressions of interest for the Hotel Recovery Programme in late August. Businesses that meet the criteria for the Programme will be eligible for both grants and a holistic business review with bespoke support based on their individual needs.
The Hotel Recovery Programme comprises £9 million in revenue and £5 million capital.
Applications for the self-catering support scheme will open in early August. VisitScotland will work with The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) to review applications received for the self-catering support scheme. Further details and opening dates for both funds will be announced in due course.
Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“This will be very much welcomed by eligible hotels and self-caterers across Scotland who have faced struggles to access support funds previously. 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. We will continue to make this case and work alongside both the Scottish & UK Governments.’’