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Visit Scotland Announces New Funds for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses

Funds announced for Scottish businesses

At the end of 2020, the Scottish Government announced that tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland were to benefit from a £104.3 million Scottish Government package.

This funding will help a number of tourism and events businesses in key sectors who have received little or no support so far.

Visit Scotland said that with the administration of nine* of the Scottish Government funds, they will move their focus from marketing to funding and support for the next three months to ensure that desperately needed help is delivered quickly, to those most in need.

More than 100 staff are moved from other tasks to get these funding streams organised and process them as quickly as possible.

Funds Delivering on behalf of Scottish Government

  • Pivotal Event Businesses Fund – in progress, closed to Expressions of Interest.

  • The Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund – live
  • Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund – Expressions of interest open 22 January
  • Outdoor Fund, which has two strands: marine tourism and outdoor tourism – last week of January
  • Event Industry Support Fund – late January/early February
  • Coach Operators Fund – first week of February
  • Visitor attractions Fund – week commencing 8 February
  • Hostels Fund – week commencing 15 February

These nine* funds present a clean sheet – so those who have had COVID-19 related funding before can apply again.  A business bank account will not be required – although evidence of running a business will.

Information about the funds will be communicated across the industry and with partners and you can find information on how to apply for each of these funds as they go live from the financial support for businesses webpage.

Riddell Graham, Director of Industry & Destination Development commented, "We understand how tough things are for the tourism and events industry at the moment and know that the impact of the ongoing pandemic is making business survival increasingly difficult. There is therefore a need to deliver funding as quickly as possible.

We have huge sympathy for businesses across Scotland, and we continue to feed concerns back to the Scottish Government through the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group – which we chair – and the Event Industry Advisory Group in the hope that more support will be made available in the future."

A thriving tourism and events industry is essential to lead Scotland’s pandemic recovery. It is a force for good by not only providing jobs and economic benefits to every corner of the country, but also bringing benefits to our wellbeing and society.

Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said, “This new fund is a lifeline to Scottish tour operators and destination management companies, and we applaud the Scottish government for recognising how important these businesses are to Scotland’s economic recovery and taking positive steps to ensure they remain viable for the future. This fund was created as a direct result of the Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund proposal presented to the Scottish Government by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Destination Management Association, Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association and ourselves in October 2020.

“In stark contrast, the UK Government, which was also presented with the Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund proposal last year, has yet to revert. We implore the Treasury to not only consider our proposal but to engage with us directly. The Government talks about the importance of levelling up and its desire to create a Global Britain, but currently it’s failing to support the very businesses that will be able to deliver growth to regional economics and promote Brand Britain globally.”

* The Outdoor Fund has two strands, combined with the other funds that brings the figure to nine.

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