Rural Economy and Tourism (Financial Support)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

I think that there were three questions there. On 9 December, Kate Forbes announced a further package of £185 million and, at the same time, indicated that, in respect of tourism specifically, an additional £60 million is being provided in that, details of which are being developed in consultation with the industry. Those details will be announced shortly.

In respect of larger businesses, we have already supplied £14 million in the hotel support fund, which is specifically designed to support retention of about 3,000 employees in the largest employers.

I have engaged on three or four occasions with a number of senior representatives of the golf sector. Businesses in that sector are inextricably connected with international trade, with many customers coming from the USA, for example. Therefore, the future of that sector is, to an extent, linked to the resumption of international trade.

Mr Rennie has raised a number of fair points. I assure him that we will continue to work with him and with the industry on all those points to provide what support we can as soon as we can.