Scotland’s hotel industry has been given £14 million in an effort to secure jobs until next year.
The Hotel Recovery Programme, announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, will allow eligible businesses to apply for £250,000 in grants, which she said will support up to 3,000 jobs.
It will also offer “wraparound support” for businesses to ensure resilience during and in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Forbes said of the fund: “Its core purpose will be to protect larger hotels, which have been badly effected by the events of the recent months.
“This is also about looking forward and successful applicants will be offered wraparound support to help strengthen their companies for the future.”
The fund will be open for expressions of interest by the end of next month, Ms Forbes said.
A further £1 million in grants will be handed out by VisitScotland to self-catering businesses that are ineligible for other types of Scottish Government support, the Finance Secretary said.
The grants will be given in one-off £10,000 payments to help businesses get through the winter season.
The Finance Secretary also reiterated calls for more fiscal powers for Scotland, following on from a meeting with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay on Friday.
The meeting followed an announcement of a further £1.9 billion of funding being made available to the Scottish Government through the Barnett formula.
Ms Forbes said: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we could do more for more sectors if we had additional fiscal flexibilities such as the ability to borrow, which most governments around the world have.
“We are in unprecedented times and managing uncertainty within a fixed budget is challenging.
“Most other governments will overspend this year, because they have borrowing powers, those powers are still withheld from the Scottish Government.”
The Finance Secretary said she is “disappointed” the UK Government has not handed over the requested powers but said she will “continue to constructively engage with them in good faith”.
Repeated requests for more powers of fiscal matters, including one from all three devolved nations, have been rejected by the UK Government.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe