Hotel Support Scheme Must Be Followed By Additional Support

A new Hotel Support Programme has been launched today to help protect sustainable employment in the medium term within larger hotels in Scotland. Businesses that meet the criteria will be eligible for both grants and a holistic business review with bespoke support based on their individual needs.

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “The opening of the Hotel Support Programme is a welcome boost for the sector and a positive sign of intent from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government consulted closely with UKHospitality on the design of the scheme to ensure it focuses on the businesses that need help the most and to encourage as wide as possible participation.

“This needs to the first step on the road to recovery, not the final one, though.  Hospitality businesses remain in rescue mode despite reopening over a month ago. There is still a lot more that can and should be done to support Scottish hotels and the wider tourism and hospitality sectors that are so vitally important to the Scottish economy.

“Rents are still a huge issue for many businesses, notably casual dining, and we are going to need both fiscal and non-fiscal support to get through the crisis, probably in the form of a grant combined with a further extension of the moratorium on lease irritation. The business rates holiday and VAT cut both need to be extended and businesses will need help if they are expected to hire and retain workers following the end of the furlough arrangement for staff at the end of October.

“Additionally, there are still sections of the hospitality sector, such as wedding venues, nightclubs, music venues and event centres still unable to open. We need a clear roadmap for the reopening of these and support where they are unable to reopen.

“The Hotel Support Programme is a welcome step in the right direction. We hope it is followed by further, more extensive support from both UK and Scottish Governments to help the industry get back on its feet and keep as many jobs safe as possible.”