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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-01179
Asked by: Willie Coffey, Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 2 July 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on COVID-19 recovery funding support for town centres within the Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley area.

Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 19 July 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government provides a wide range of Covid-19 recovery funding support for town centres in the Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley area.

To support sustained longer term renewal for our towns, villages and cities we have established a Place Based Investment Programme, backed with £325 million capital investment over five years from 2021-22. The allocation for 2021-22 to East Ayrshire Council is £1.31m. The programme will help to link and align place based funding initiatives and progress our ambitions for town centres, community led regeneration and 20 minute neighbourhoods. It builds on the £34 million economic stimulus for regeneration and towns and other funding specifically for town centres, smaller settlements and Business Improvement Districts delivered in 2020-21.

To further support local businesses and promote keeping local spend local we launched the next phase of the Scotland Loves Local (SLL) campaign on 5 July. The £10m SLL Programme includes a new national platform for the SLL loyalty card scheme that will help revitalise town centres and high streets hit by the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, businesses including those in town centres have directly benefitted from £3.6 billion in support. This includes over £13 million, through the Strategic Framework Business Fund and Restart Grant, to businesses in East Ayrshire (as at 25 June 2021) and we continue to work closely with councils to ensure businesses subject to restrictions for a longer period of time remain supported.

Grants of up to £7,500 for retailers and up to £19,500 for hospitality and leisure businesses were paid in April to help businesses, including town centre businesses, re-open. These one-off re-start grants replaced the Strategic Framework Business Fund payments made between November and March and provided more money up front to help with the costs of re-opening. Data on business support funding and other local authority support schemes are available here .

 

Local authorities were also empowered to support local businesses through the Discretionary Fund, with over £1.7 million awarded to businesses in East Ayrshire from that Fund.

We have extended 100% Non-Domestic Rates relief for all retail, leisure and hospitality premises for all of 2021-22 – this is a more generous package than the equivalent rates reliefs available in other UK nations. This relief benefited over 500 businesses in East Ayrshire saving them over £11 million in 2020-21, according to the latest data available.