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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 17/03/2021

Delivering funding to our industry

With each sector of the tourism and events industry and every area of Scotland affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s vital our efforts go towards enabling funds to be directed towards those businesses who need it.

At the end of last year, the Scottish Government announced that tourism and events businesses across Scotland were to benefit from a £104.3 million Scottish Government package with an additional £25 million announced in February 2021. 

The funding we’ve delivered on behalf of Scottish Government over the past year equates to just over £80 million.

Since December, we moved our focus from marketing to funding to deliver 14* funds, redeploying more than 200 of our staff to ensure that desperately needed help is delivered as quickly as we can. The hope is that this will help to keep businesses afloat until we can start to reopen.

From tour operators to hostels to destination organisations, we’re hoping to get millions of pounds to those working in the tourism and events industry over the next few weeks and are currently dealing with around 5,000 applications.

Progress

Pivotal Event Businesses Fund | delivered

The Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund | delivered

Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund | finalising appeals and payments

Visitor Attractions Support Fund | finalising appeals and payments

Event Industry Support Fund 2 | grant letters processed

Scotland Coach Operators COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund | payments in progress

The Hostel – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: strand one | payments in progress

Scottish Country Sports Tourism Restart Fund | payments in progress

Scotland’s Tour Guides Fund | grant letters are being processed

Scotland Day Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund | grant letters are being processed

The Hostel – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund: strand two | grant letters are being processed

Scotland Inbound Tour Operators - COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund | applications being assessed

Campervan and Motorhome Rental Operators Fund | grant letters are being processed

We're focused on getting these funds out to successful applicants as quickly as possible. For each fund, we have to complete all assessments and appeals before we can finalise a funding offer to individual businesses. We appreciate your patience while we complete each process. Businesses who have been rejected do have a right to appeal.

Once the appeals process is complete, we’ll publish a list of successful applicants on VisitScotland.org.

* The Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund, Scotland Tour Operators Fund and the Hostel – COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund all have two strands. Combined with the other funds that brings the figure to 14.

Partnership approach

We’ve delivered all of the funding packages with input from the tourism industry and sector groups to ensure that we get the right support to the right people.

Throughout the funding stages we’ve been liaising with industry groups to develop the funds and listening to feedback on where there may be gaps.

This resulted in guidance being adapted to be as inclusive as possible with the introduction of new strands of funding for the Day Tour sector and hostels that were not eligible for the first strand of funding.

Every single fund has been brought together after extensive consultation with the sector groups involved – between us we may not have always got it perfect – but we’ve tried to help as many businesses as possible. We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the sector representative bodies for their input and support, it's been a truly collaborative effort.

Working with other agencies we continue to share information through STERG (Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group) to see who might have fallen through the cracks, feeding this back to the Scottish Government.

A thriving tourism 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.

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. Therefore, there is 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.

Riddell Graham, Director of Industry & Destination Development

Scottish Government Funds

In addition to the Scottish Governments Strategic Framework Business Fund, there are additional funds to target financial support at those businesses and sectors that are not eligible.

Please go to the Find Business Support website to search and filter all the funding options to help your business during the coronavirus pandemic.