Emergency funding support for our sector is confirmed

This week details of a financial package worth up to £9 million for Scotland’s vital tourism sector were confirmed by Tourism Minister Ivan McKee MSP.

The funding package is to be administered by VisitScotland and will be split between affected businesses including visitor attractions. The emergency funding is being allocated to support businesses for cancellations and loss of business suffered due to Omicron in December and January.

Mr McKee said the support aims “to help ease the impacts of the pandemic on Scotland’s world-class tourism sector and ensure that affected businesses can survive what is clearly an especially tough winter period and be ready to trade fully in the spring and summer months.” He added: “We know this won’t cover all losses and will continue to press the UK Government for more comprehensive support.”

ASVA understands that the application process for the fund will be very simple and straightforward to ensure that monies will be distributed expediently. More details of both the funding amount that attractions can expect and the mechanism for receiving the funding will be announced in the upcoming days. ASVA will, of course, advise our members as soon as the information is available.

ASVA CEO Gordon Morrison said: “ASVA has pushed hard to ensure that those attractions impacted by Omicron will benefit from emergency support and we are pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised this by allocating funding to visitor attractions. We are, of course, grateful for any support and we acknowledge that this top-up fund will be useful for a number of our members.  However, it is a short-term support fund for a short term issue. The allocated sums expected will not come close to covering the very significant losses our sector has experienced. We will continue to push the Scottish and UK Governments for further support mechanisms to help ensure that our sector can recover fully and lead the wider recovery of Scottish tourism in 2022.”

As we have highlighted in previous E-Updates, other funding streams are also available/planned for businesses affected by Omicron control measures, including a Hospitality fund for cafes/restaurants impacted and an Events fund for any businesses that have experienced event cancellations. ASVA has been advised by the Scottish Government, however, that businesses cannot benefit from multiple funds. Therefore it would not be possible, for example, for an attraction with a café to benefit from both the Visitor Attraction fund and the Hospitality fund.

More details of all the different funding streams can be found here and further information specifically about the tourism support package can be accessed at this link.