New tourism support funding welcomed

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise board will be retained. F14HIE1no

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has welcomed a new programme of support for the tourism sector as it continues to feel the impacts of the pandemic.

The £14m Hotel Recovery Programme was announced on Wednesday by the Scottish Government.

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

Businesses that meet the criteria will be eligible for both grants and a holistic business review with bespoke support based on their individual needs.

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.’

The announcement also included a further £1million grants programme run by VisitScotland for self-catering businesses that have not received any other Scottish Government Covid-19 support.

Applications will open in early August and VisitScotland will work with The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) to review applications received.