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New aid for tourism sector announced

By Calum MacLeod

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Charlotte Wright.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Charlotte Wright.

A NEW package of measures to help the tourism sector recover from the effects of the coronavirus crisis has been welcomed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The £14 million Hotel Recovery Programme announced by the Scottish Government offers businesses the opportunity to apply for grants and a full business review, along with tailored support based on their individual needs.

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

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 very much look forward to working with our partner agencies to maximise the programme’s effectiveness over the coming months.”

The Scottish Government announcement also included a further £1 million grants programme run by VisitScotland 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 (ASSC) to review applications received.

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