We remain focused on immediate business support. We are keen to help as many businesses as possible to reopen viably, once conditions allow. Our focus has therefore been on developing and distributing the £129 million tourism support package. Looking to the future, the £15 million culture, heritage and tourism fund, which has been agreed through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal, will play a key part in recovery. Finally, VisitScotland is working with Discover Clackmannanshire on its access Forth valley visitor campaign. When the time is right, VisitScotland will look to promote the region as part of its regular marketing activity.
As the cabinet secretary knows, the Stirling and Clackmannanshire region provides a truly world-class offering, and visitors spend more than £350 million annually in the local economy—at least, that was the case before the pandemic.
How will the Scottish Government support development in the sector through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal, to ensure that the sector grows? For example, does the cabinet secretary have more detail on the culture and tourism elements of the deal?
Yes. The Scottish Government is a full partner in the
Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal and we are contributing £45.1 million over 10 years, with additional investment of £5 million over the same period. The key tourism project, which I touched on and which Mr Brown was correct to mention, will be the £15 million culture, tourism and heritage programme, which includes key partners such as VisitScotland, who will work with the private sector to strengthen the regional economy’s tourism offering. I welcome Mr Brown’s consistent lobbying on the issue, which is bearing fruit.