Covid-19 Recovery (Banffshire and Buchan Coast)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 8th June 2022.

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Photo of Karen Adam Karen Adam Scottish National Party

4. To ask the Scottish Government what policies and actions across Government will support people in the Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. (S6O-01185)

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

During the pandemic, the Scottish Government provided more than £4.7 billion in support to businesses in Scotland. Most recently, our £80 million Covid economic recovery fund is providing funding that affords local authorities the flexibility to target support for their businesses and communities. Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council have been allocated £3.7 million and £1.3 million, respectively.

Further, since 2020, Aberdeenshire and Moray have benefited from the £6 million of additional support that the Scottish Government has provided to town and community partnerships and business improvement districts.

Photo of Karen Adam Karen Adam Scottish National Party

I thank the cabinet secretary for his answer and I welcome that investment. As the cabinet secretary will know,

Banffshire and Buchan Coast is a rural, coastal constituency that has had unique challenges related to its geography and local industries. Covid has exaggerated the existing issues, which are compounded by Brexit and now the cost of living crisis. The fishing industry and ports are key to recovery because, when they thrive, the area and the people benefit. Will there be bespoke support, which is fitting for various specifics, rather than a blanket approach to recovery?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

In providing the material that I have already given in my answer, I hope that I have reassured Karen Adam that the Government is targeting funding to particular localities where there is demonstrable need. Aberdeenshire and Moray councils have been funded appropriately in that respect.

The Government will continue to look at all funding streams, to make sure that they are relevant and will meet the challenges of different localities in the country. Specific funds, particularly in relation to the transition to net zero, are available only in the north-east of Scotland, which will be of relevance to the communities that Karen Adam represents.