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Scotland’s country sports tourism businesses which have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic can now apply for grant funding of up to £25,000 after being left out of original Scottish Government funding support.

The announcement comes after Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), the rural business organisation, wrote to both Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, as well as speaking to Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy.

SLE warned that by missing out this important part of the tourism sector from grant funding opportunities, it risked having a longer-term impact on rural communities whose livelihoods rely on this sector.

Country sports tourism businesses will be able to apply to the Scottish Government’s Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund. Grants of up to £25,000 can be accessed in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund is for small creative, tourism and hospitality companies that are experiencing hardship because they are ineligible for other COVID-19 government grant support.

Stephen Young, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for listening to our concerns and rectifying the error of missing out this important arm of Scotland’s tourism sector. Country Sports Tourism Businesses play a crucial role in rural Scotland.

"They employ local people and attract visitors who boost the rural economy and provide a livelihood for locals. If these businesses do not survive this pandemic, it could mean irreparable damage for the people who live and work in these communities.”