SLE welcomes measures that can boost recovery in rural Scotland

Press Release

A cut in hospitality and tourism VAT are among the measures Scottish Land & Estates welcomes in delivering a recovery boost to rural Scotland.

Mark Tennant, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The cut in VAT for tourism and hospitality is a measure that we have called for and is one we are delighted to see implemented for rural Scotland. The huge reduction in visitors has had a massive impact on the sector and if a greater recovery can be fostered for the rest of 2020, the real hope is that rural Scotland will be far better placed to move forward in 2021 and beyond. Both the VAT cut and the Eat Out To Help Out scheme can encourage people to sample more of Scotland’s outstanding hospitality, food and drink.

“We’re pleased also to see the new job retention bonus for employers who bring back furloughed staff. Whilst it does not provide a guarantee that every rural business can maintain each and every position, it provides a softer landing on the conclusion on the furlough scheme and will hopefully aid businesses in their quest to retain valued staff.

“This will be aided by the kickstart scheme for 16 to 24 year olds. All too often, young people are compelled to leave rural Scotland to access training or jobs this has a real effect on these communities. There is tangible hope that this may not only aid young people returning to the employment market but also increase the opportunities for their career path to be forged in our rural communities rather than purely urban settings. 

“The £2 billion grant scheme for energy efficiency improvements is also a very significant move for England, supporting jobs, homeowners and the environment in tandem. We would like to see a similar scheme for Scotland which would have real benefits for many rural homes which experience energy efficiency challenges, whether it be connection to the grid or problems faced by historic building standards.”