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Scotland confirms extra funding for events industry, UKinbound calls on Westminster to follow

VisitScotland has confirmed it will provide further funding for its events industry. The Scottish Government is providing a £104.3m package which will be split into nine separate funds, with the events industry being one of the targeted recipients.

Scottish businesses operating within the event, travel and hospitality industries can apply, even if they have already drawn on previous funding measures.

The funds include a Pivotal Event Businesses Fund, for which details remain in progress, but is closed to expressions of interest and a wider Event Industry Support Fund, which will be accessible from late January at the earliest.

Other funds include a Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund, one for inbound tour operators, an outdoor fund, one for coach operators, a visitor attrations fund, hostels fund, and a Sector Destination Operational & Market Readiness Fund.

Joss Croft, the CEO of travel trade association UKinbound hailed the fund as a lifeline. “We applaud the Scottish Government for recognising how important these businesses are to Scotland’s economic recovery and taking positive steps to ensure they remain viable for the future,” he said.

However, Croft pointed out that the UK Government was yet to deliver similar nationwide.

“In stark contrast, the UK Government, which was also presented with the Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund proposal last year, has yet to revert,” he said.

“We implore the Treasury to not only consider our proposal but to engage with us directly. The Government talks about the importance of levelling up and its desire to create a Global Britain, but currently it’s failing to support the very businesses that will be able to deliver growth to regional economics and promote Brand Britain globally.”

The fund was created as a result of the Inbound Tourism Resilience Fund proposal presented to the Scottish Government by the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Destination Management Association, Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association and UKinbound in October 2020.