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Scottish Government announces financial support for nightclubs and soft play businesses which have been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic

By Ian Duncan

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Jamie Hepburn.
Jamie Hepburn.

Nightclubs and soft play centres that have been closed by law since March are to benefit from targeted funding as part of the first phase of business grants from a new fund.

The one-off grants of up to £50,000 will be available to businesses in both sectors through the £11 million Covid-19 Contingency Fund and they will be based on the rateable value.

Firms operating multiple premises will be eligible to claim one full grant plus grants of up to 75 per cent on subsequent properties.

Guidance, which will be published this week to help soft play centres prepare for reopening when it is safe to do so, has been developed in partnership with clinical experts, regulators, trade unions and industry representatives.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “We know that nightclubs and soft play centres have been particularly badly hit by this pandemic – unlike the majority of businesses, they have not been allowed to open since March. These grants take account of those exceptional circumstances and will provide a boost as we continue to tackle the virus.

“We don’t want any business to remain closed for a day longer than is necessary but public health is paramount. Unfortunately we are at a critical point with infection levels rising again and it is not safe to lift restrictions on these activities.

“Local authorities will be contacting businesses directly to get the information needed to progress their claim.”

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