Funding to ease losses
Fire-hit traders offered £5m government support
Fires in Glasgow have been devastating for the area
Businesses affected by the fires at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building and Victoria’s Nightclub will be able to access a fund of up to £5 million, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed.
The Scottish Government will make the additional funding available to Glasgow City Council for distribution to businesses within the security cordons, and to those in the Sauchiehall Street area who can demonstrate hardship as a result of the impact of the fires.
All businesses within both the Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s cordon will receive £20,000 of direct financial support, with other businesses in the area who have been impacted by a fall in footfall eligible for £10,000 of support.
Glasgow City Council will administer the funding with applications for all businesses open from the 31 July. Eligibility criteria for those outside the cordon will be set out ahead of the opening of applications following discussion with local business advisers.
The immediate support follows steps already taken by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council in response to the fire at the Mack to deliver 100% rates relief for affected businesses and grants of £3,000 made available to households in the cordoned off area and for which the Council has to date made 44 payments relating to 47 individuals in 33 properties.
Mr Mackay (pictured) said: “The sheer scale and lasting effects of the fires on those involved are becoming clear and it is important that businesses are given financial support to help them through this very challenging time.
“This funding will also help minimise the impact on the economy of the city as everyone involved works to help businesses and residents return to their premises as quickly and safely as possible.”
The Scottish Government has already increased its contribution to hardship funding from 75% to 95%, and made available £1,500, matched by the Lord Provost’s Trust for vulnerable citizens, to residents displaced from their homes by the Mackintosh building fire and will extend that to businesses facing the same impacts as a result of the fire at Victoria’s.
Mr Mackay added: “We will continue to work with Glasgow City Council to ensure the emergency funding is released to all those impacted as soon as possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consider what further assistance might be required.”
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said she has convened a Sauchiehall Street Task Force which is working on plans for the future viability and vibrancy of Sauchiehall Street.
Hisashi Kuboyama, the Federation of Small Businesses’ development manager for the West of Scotland, said: “Many businesses in Glasgow city centre are likely to be facing short term cashflow difficulties as a consequence of the recent fires. This additional funding is hugely welcome – and should help more businesses survive this difficult period.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve seen relationships break down between residents, business and authorities. Key to rebuilding trust will be effective communications between decision-makers and locals.”