Coronavirus: Hotels to receive £14m funding to protect jobs
A £14m hotel recovery programme to help support the tourism industry until the start of next summer has been announced by the Scottish government.
The funding package is aimed at securing up to 3,000 jobs at Scotland's larger hotels through the winter.
Eligible businesses can apply for individual grants of up to £250,000.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said the deal recognised the "important contribution" hotels make to the Scottish economy.
VisitScotland will also deliver £1m in grants to self-catering businesses that have not received any other Scottish government Covid-19 support.
Businesses that meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off £10,000 grant to support them until summer 2021.
Industry figures suggest the hotel sector supports about 46,000 jobs across the country.
'Offer some security'
Ms Forbes said the package would provide essential funding as well as business support and advice.
She added: "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."
Nic Wenn, managing director of Point A hotels, told BBC Scotland he hoped the new funding would be part of a series of packages to help hotels survive the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "At the moment we've got the rates holiday and the VAT changes – and hopefully we may see an extension to those.
"As a hotel sector, we've been closed for 15 weeks, taking no revenue whatsoever. Whilst we will see some demand in July and August, it's nowhere near the demand we would normally expect.
"Obviously, the Fringe festival drove 95% occupancy in Edinburgh through this period and we won't see anything like that. So anything the government could provide would be very welcome."
The Scottish Tourism Alliance's Marc Crothall welcomed the "sizeable" financial package but warned it would not be enough to support all the hotels in need of immediate financial support".
He said: "It remains the case that without other forms of longer-term suRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]