Coronavirus

UKH Scotland welcomes business rates relief extension

It comes as business rates relief measures in England are set to end on 31 March, after being implemented for nearly one full year

UKHospitality Scotland has said the decision to extend business rates relief for another year is a “very positive and pragmatic move” by the Scottish Government.

The new plans, which were announced on 16 February by finance secretary Kate Forbes, are part of a £1.1bn consequential funding from UK government coronavirus spending.

Forbes, who had already announced plans for a three-month extension in her budget last month said: “we are still in the throes of a national emergency and it is important parliament works together to respond”.

In addition to the extension, Scotland will also see £50m extra funding for town centres through a ‘place-based investment’ programme, now worth up to £105m, and a further £10m for tourism infrastructure in rural areas. 

It comes as business rates relief measures in England are set to end on 31 March, after being implemented for nearly one full year. 

Willie Macleod, executive director, UKHospitality Scotland said: “Extending the rates relief was one of the major requests of the hospitality industry in Scotland. It will provide continued support for hard-pressed businesses and give them breathing room to plan ahead with some more certainty.

“Businesses are beginning to look ahead to reopening, but many still needed continued support in order to survive the weeks and months ahead. Failure to provide more support would have been devastating, particularly with the pessimistic tone sounded by the First Minister on the possibility of Easter and Summer bookings.”

He added: “Our recovery will be enhanced immeasurably if the UK Government extends the VAT cut for hospitality, giving businesses an even better chance of survival. It will give many employers vital support to keep jobs open and put them in a much stronger position to help lead the economic recovery of Scotland this year.”

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