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Scottish businesses to get £375m in lockdown grants

written by Bella Palmer

The funding follows announcements by Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson that the UK will stay in lockdown until at least the end of January in Scotland and mid February in England

Struggling businesses are in line for £4.6 billion of grants across the UK to help get them through the new lockdown.

The UK Treasury funds include £375 million for the Scottish Government to pass on, a move welcomed by Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader.

Ross tweeted: Very welcome news for Scotland - an extra £375m to support businesses affected by lockdown measures. The SNP must get this extra funding out the door immediately - for many businesses their survival depends on it.

The funding follows announcements by First Minsiter Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the UK will stay in lockdown until at least the end of January in Scotland and mid February in England while vaccines are rolled out to protect the elderly and vulnerable.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the Spring. This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.

The cash for the Scottish government to distribute comes on top of £8.2 billion received from the UK Treasury since the crisis began.

The Scottish government has been accused by sectors like hospitality of not allocating funding or getting it out to businesses quickly enough.

The move came as senior Tory government minister Michael Gove admitted the third UK-wide lockdown could drag on until March.

Gove warned the country was in for a “very difficult” few weeks and could give no firm date for lifting the lockdown in England.

When Johnson announced the lockdown on Monday night, he had suggested it could end as early as February 15, the usual English schools half-term holiday.


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