Call to 'start spending'

Hospitality firms say £40m fund ‘not enough’

Beehive Inn pub Grassmarket

There are fears that some pubs may have to shut permanently (pic: Terry Murden)

The Scottish Government has been urged to start spending the £700 million of additional funding allocated by Westminster to support businesses through the pandemic.

Trade body UKHospitality said the £40m set aside to help pubs and restaurants “will not be enough” and is calling for urgent action to keep businesses afloat.

The Scottish Conservatives also urged the SNP government start spending the new funds.

The criticism comes as the SNP government has announced how companies may apply for the £40m fund.

UKHospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “Financial support for hospitality businesses, which are either closed or operating under severe restrictions, and supply chain businesses is welcome.

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“The reality is, however, that the £40 million pot made available by the Scottish Government is not going to be nearly enough. It will be nowhere near enough to offset the massive hit businesses have taken. It will not keep businesses afloat and it will not keep enough jobs safe.

“Compulsory closures in the central belt and the trading restrictions elsewhere are biting hard.

“The Scottish Government must go further. It needs to announce as soon as possible how it will use its share, understood to be £700m, of the £1.3bn allocated last Friday by the Chancellor to the devolved governments.

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