Falkirk coach operators can share in £10 million support fund

The Scottish Government has made £10 million available to help coach operators impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By James Trimble
Friday, 5th February 2021, 9:01 am

Applications to the Scotland Coach Operators fund can be made from noon on Tuesday, February 16 to 5pm on Tuesday, February 23.

The one off fund, adminstered by VisitScotland, will specifically provide support to Scottish-based businesses in the coach tourism and coach private hire sector, who are operating the newest and most environmentally friendly vehicle fleet, a Euro 5 or 6 grade and M2 or M3 category, with eight or more seats.

The loss of international visitors, restrictions on travel and social distancing measures have meant many coach operators are without bookings or have been unable to trade because it is not financially viable to run under capacity.

Coach operators can apply for a share of a new £10 million support fund

The money being made available aims to cover fixed costs that businesses continue to incur when they cannot operate, and to help prepare them for reopening when it is safe to do so.

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “We appreciate the devastating impact the pandemic has had on all of our important tourism and events businesses, affecting every corner of our industry and area of the country.

“VisitScotland is diverting our focus from marketing to funding for the next three months to ensure that desperately needed help is delivered quickly, to those most in need.

“Some in the industry have been able to generate revenue as a result of offering digital experiences online or operating within the restrictions to take advantage of the increase in domestic visitors.

“Unfortunately, coach operators have had little or no income through either of these means. Hopefully this fund will go some way to meet their immediate financial needs until coach tours become financially viable again.”

Paul White, Scotland Director, Confederation of Passenger Transport,said: "CPT welcomes the launch of the COVID 19 Business Support and Continuity Fund for Scotland's Coach Operators.

“This fund will serve as a much-needed lifeline for many CPT coach operator members, many of whom have been unable to trade to any great degree since winter 2019. The fund will help meet some of the substantial costs incurred over these past 10 months of inactivity.

“We look forward to continuing to work with both The Scottish Government and VisitScotland as we navigate the road to recovery for Scotland's coach industry."