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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Councils can grant Discretionary Funding to help Specialist Food and Drink Shops survive

Kenneth has been contacted by several concerned owners of specialist luxury food and drink shops many people love, that rely on the passing tourist trade not just to thrive but to survive. Such trade all but vanished during lockdown.

North Ayrshire Council has denied grants that are vital to the survival of such businesses and has said that Scottish Government guidance deems specialist food and drink retailers to be essential and therefore not required to close.

However, other local authorities have taken a completely different view of the guidance.

Kenneth therefore asked the First Minister earlier this week to clarify whether specialist luxury food and drink shops can close and access the vital grants that they need to survive.

In her response, the First Minister clarified that the Scottish Government has not said that specialist food and drink retailers are essential and therefore cannot close.

Ms Sturgeon referred to the fact that it is up to councils to apply their discretion in this regard and pointed out that the Scottish Government's £120 million Local Authority Discretionary fund, which the Scottish Government is supporting through £120 million of funding, was set up to help local authorities to respond to local economic pressures in their areas.

To view the full exchange, click on the video.



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