The Scottish Government’s economy secretary Fiona Hyslop announced a £2.2 million fund has been agreed to support grassroots music venues.
Speaking during the First Minister’s daily press briefing on Friday, Ms Hyslop confirmed the amount had been agreed with the Music Venue Trust and will be used to “quickly provide” stability to these venues over the coming months.
It was previously announced that indoor entertainment venues will not be allowed to reopen until after July 31, and many spaces have said they are facing increased financial pressures without audiences coming through their doors.
The Economy Secretary also announced a £38 million fund for the “most-promising” early stage businesses.
The spending will include:
- £3m grant fund for start-ups with highest potential to grow
- £25m challenge fund for successful applicants (with the process opening on 20 July)
- £10m for Scottish Enterprise’s existing co-investment funds to stimulate private investment
Ms Hyslop said: “We need to find ways to support our most innovative sectors because their access to finance has been severely restricted.
“We need to promote growth in areas like life sciences, digital technologies and space.”
She added that the funding marks a step forward in Scotland’s recovery with a high-tech, low-carbon economy which accelerates international investment and creates high-value jobs.
It comes as Scotland moved into phase three of the government’s “route map” out of lockdown.
The First Minister reminded the public of the changes which have come into place.
When addressing face masks becoming mandatory in shops, Ms Sturgeon said the police can issue fines if people are not wearing them if necessary but she urged the public to “do the right thing”.
She said wearing a mask should become “as automatic as putting on a seatbelt in a car”.
On complaints face coverings in shops are uncomfortable, Nicola Sturgeon pointed to the NHS staff which “wear them for 12 hour shifts”, adding: “This is something we can do for them”.
She said there are some exemptions to the new mask rule, including young children and people with certain health conditions.
The government has published comprehensive guidance available on face coverings on its website.
Also from today, non-cohabiting couples no longer have to physically distance indoors or outdoors.
Up to 15 people can meet outdoors from up to five households, with physical distancing.
And indoor meetings of up to eight people from three households in total are now permitted, including sleepovers if physical distancing can be maintained.