Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed additional Scottish Government funding to support hospitality, retail and leisure businesses on Scotland’s islands.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has announced £3.3 million of additional funding to support hospitality, retail and leisure businesses on Scotland’s islands.
Funding will be shared by Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar – all of which are wholly covered by level 3 coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
The move brings support for island businesses in these sectors into line with those affected by level 4 restrictions on the mainland. Firms are eligible for one-off grants ranging from £6,000 to £25,000 per premises, based on sector and rateable value.
Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee, Cllr Donald Crichton said, “This will come as welcome news and a relief to many businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors. Despite our Tier 3 status the economy in the islands is still facing pressure and challenges. This funding will go some way to alleviating this pressure in the meantime as part of a range of economic recovery activities in which the Comhairle and partners are engaged to enable viable businesses to survive the COVID-19 outbreak and prosper in future years.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said, “While the island authorities are currently in Level 3 and not facing the same restrictions on business as the rest of Scotland, this funding recognises that travel restrictions will have a major impact on the island economies.
“This funding will help to support island businesses during these challenging times and bring support into line with that available to their mainland counterparts.”