Funding support for struggling tourism businesses

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed further support for the tourism sector as it continues to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £14m Hotel Recovery Programme was announced last Wednesday, July 29, by the Scottish Government.

HIE, Scottish Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise will begin taking expressions of interest for the programme in late August.

Businesses that meet the criteria will be eligible for grants and a holistic business review with bespoke support based on their individual needs.

Charlotte Wright, chief executive of HIE, said: ‘Hotels are at the heart of our tourism sector, which is central to our regional economy and a vital source of rural employment.

‘The Hotel Recovery Programme will help protect these jobs and support this important network of businesses across our region recover from the impacts of the past few months.

‘We look forward to working with our partner agencies to maximise the programme’s effectiveness over the coming months.’

The announcement included a further £1 million in grants from Visit Scotland for self-catering businesses that have not received any other Scottish Government Covid-19 support. This is also expected to benefit many businesses in the Highlands and Islands.

Applications will open in early August and VisitScotland will work with The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers to review applications.