Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

Sail Scotland's determination pays off as essential new COVID-19 tourism support fund opens

by Sail Scotland 1 May 14:46 UTC
Pleasure yachts at Kytra, Caledonian Canal © Peter Sandground

The Scottish Government's promised £100 million COVID-19 fund to support small and medium-sized businesses and the self-employed opened yesterday for applications - to the delight of Sail Scotland and its members.

The national marine tourism body has been fiercely lobbying the Scottish Government for additional assistance for its members, joining voices with Wild Scotland to support the wider marine and adventure tourism sector. Both organisations have received high numbers of distress calls from businesses who face the catastrophic loss of seasonal visitors but fall between the cracks of Scottish and UK Government support.

Sail Scotland estimates a devastating 95% loss of business across the marine tourism sector this year, due to the industry's reliance on seasonal visitors. For these businesses, there is no opportunity for recovery until spring 2021 - which will be too late for many.

In a plea for additional support, the national body also highlighted Scotland's reputation as a world-class sailing destination, a key driver of the tourism economy. The marine tourism sector also plays an essential role ensuring the success of the targeted, themed year, Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters, which will now move from 2020 to 2021.

Sail Scotland also warned of the potential impact on remote rural and island communities, many of which rely on the expenditure of sailing and outdoor activity visitors.

Gavin McDonagh, Chair of Sail Scotland, said: "I am pleased that all the hours of direct lobbying to Government Ministers over the past few weeks on behalf of our industry has resulted in positive support for our sector. On behalf of myself and the board of Sail Scotland we would like to thank our Chief Executive Alan Rankin for his efforts in representing our sector and achieving this vital financial support."

The new £100 million COVID-19 support from the Scottish Government comprises three separate funds. A £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund has opened for viable but vulnerable small and medium-sized businesses who are vital to Scotland's local, regional or national economies. This aims to support companies with working capital to help them continue trading and to ensure they can help to restart economic recovery.

A £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund has opened to small creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of other COVID-19 business rates relief and related grant support. This will focus on helping companies manage cashflow commitments over the next three months.

Finally, a £34 million hardship fund is now open to the newly self-employed, with £2,000 grants available to those facing hardship.

Online applications for these funds opened at 2pm yesterday but Sail Scotland has already had reports from members struggling to access the application platform. This clearly indicates the pressure on these new funds, highlighting how much they are needed.

Alan Rankin, CEO of Sail Scotland, said. "It was clear to see that many of our members and wider industry seemed to be falling between the gaps of the UK funding support mechanisms. There has been open and ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government ministers and officials, and we appreciate the recognition that has been afforded to this vital sector. We will continue to press for additional support as the sector is so seasonal, with many operators not likely to see any business until the spring of 2021.

"Our sector extends right across Scotland and really does play a vital economic role in many rural areas. Our outstanding sailing grounds attract thousands of visiting boats each year, including bringing visitors to remote islands and coastal places. Their absence this season cannot be overstated. In just one example, we worked to bring a Danish flotilla of 35 yachts to Scotland this summer, which would have brought an estimated total £200,000 spend to their destinations - Inverness, the Caledonian Canal, Fort William, Oban and Tobermory. This essential revenue now lost as a result of the pandemic."

Related Articles

The Ocean Cruising Club NE USA SSB Net
Covering the area from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod This net normally operates from 1 July through mid-September and, subject to propagation, covers the area from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod. The net will start today and will operate daily Monday through Saturday at 0700 local time (EDT) or 1100 UTC. Posted on 9 Jul
Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally day 1 & 2
Facing light headwinds having punched through the Gulf Stream After 24 hours of racing from two starting lines off the coasts of Newport and Norfolk, the four teams entered in the Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally have made solid progress towards their common finish line in St George's. Posted on 9 Jul
As weather wreaks havoc, check insurance policy
Boaters need to look at the biggest boat insurance risk According to NOAA, the 12-month-period ending in April 2019 was the wettest in U.S. records dating back to 1895. As extreme weather events become more common, few are more affected than recreational boaters who store their vessels on the water at a marina Posted on 8 Jul
Spirit of Bermuda Charity Rally underway
A great start as the teams start their offshore journeys The cancellation of two major biennial yacht races to Bermuda this year has not stopped the enthusiasm for 22 sailors to race to the Onion Patch anyway now that the island nation has become open for visitors. Posted on 8 Jul
Coast Guard prepares for Atlantic hurricane season
Ready to support coast guard families with disaster relief The Coast Guard Foundation announced today it is preparing for the Atlantic hurricane season, predicted by NOAA to be an especially active one. Posted on 7 Jul
TMS Two Minute Tuesdays Episode 15: Selden E40i
Nick gives a brief rundown of the new electric winch It's time for TMS Two Minute Tuesday and for our 15th episode Nick gives a brief rundown of the NEW Seldén Mast E40i Electric Winch. Posted on 7 Jul
TowBoatUS Beaufort, N.C., removes tons of debris
Partnership with N.C. Coastal Reserve, Town of Beaufort, N.C. The Town of Beaufort and the adjacent Rachel Carson Reserve knew they had a problem with abandoned vessels. For years, a pristine set of barrier islands had become an illegal dumping ground for old boats, tires and other debris. Posted on 7 Jul
Marine VHF Radio: Q&A with Icom's Ian Lockyer
Including how to get a licence and what to do in an emergency We spoke to Icom Marine's Ian Lockyer to find out a more about Marine VHF Radio including how to get a licence, what to do in an emergency and what the M1 and M2 channels are. Posted on 7 Jul
USCGC Reliance to depart Portsmouth for last time
Reliance will continue service with two other 210-foot medium endurance cutters The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Reliance crew will depart on patrol from the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire July 6, 2020, and return in August to its new homeport of Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Posted on 5 Jul
Barton Technical Update - Mid Year
Constantly working to develop and improve solutions The Barton R&D team are constantly working to develop and improve solutions to your everyday needs. Our global vision is to improve your ability to lift, move, slide, secure and control rigging applications for leisure sailors and commercial operators. Posted on 5 Jul
Highfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTERVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1