Inveraray Castle, Inveraray. VisitScotland Paul Tomkins

£10 million support for attractions sector 

A FUND worth £10 million has been launched today (Thursday 4 February) to provide financial support to visitor attractions in Scotland that have been severely affected by the impact of Covid-19. 

The Visitor Attractions Support Fund is being delivered by VisitScotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government in collaboration with the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA). The fund is part of an  overall £104.3 million package  of support for tourism businesses and will be open for applications from 12 noon on Thursday, 11 February, with guidance on the fund launched today.  

The fund is designed to help keep visitor attractions in business while restrictions are still in place and to support them to prepare for reopening in 2021 when possible. 

Visitor attractions will be able to apply for grants of up to £50,000. The fund will be open for applications from 12 noon on Thursday 11 February and the final amounts awarded to a successful applicant will be determined once all applications are received by the closing date of 5pm on Thursday, 18 February.  

Riddell Graham, Director of Industry & Destination Development, VisitScotland, said:   

The Scottish tourism industry has been devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic. Visitor attractions play an important role in both the tourism industry and in local communities in Scotland.  The COVID-19 lockdown, travel guidance, and current social distancing measures continue to place visitor attractions under considerable financial strain.  Recovery will require our collective efforts and we must act as one to ensure the best possible outcomes for the whole of the visitor economy”.    

Gordon Morrison, Chief Executive, ASVA, said: 

 “ASVA has been lobbying hard for additional financial support for the attractions sector, a sector which has experienced financial hardships beyond most others over the last 10 months.  We know that, for many attractions, this fund will provide an essential lifeline. In addition to this, we are continuing dialogue with the Scottish Government in an effort to secure additional funding to further support the sector in the difficult months ahead.  

“Visitor attractions are vital to the Scottish tourism. It is the ‘see and do’ experiences and those businesses that look after our heritage, culture and landscapes that drive the footfall and stimulate the expenditure in the wider tourism economy. Securing the future of our sector will go a long way in securing the future of tourism in Scotland.’’