Opening in January, Scottish Wedding Business owners will be able to apply for grants totalling £15 million. With the effects of Covid-19 and the restrictions to weddings and receptions most have had their businesses put on hold, some since March. The announcement was made this week by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
Finally, after lobbying hard, through the newly formed Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance (SWIA) founder Duncan McConchie (also the MD of Laggan Life who run wedding venues in Dumfries and Galloway GG’s Yard and a Founding Member of ABWB) has said “We must thank the Scottish Government for being the first UK government to create a wedding sector specific funding package and for recognising the wedding industry as a vital sector in the Scottish economy.
Weddings in this country support 14,000 small and medium-sized businesses and have an economic impact of £1.4 billion a year. This funding, whilst not as significant as the SWIA had hoped, will go a long way towards mitigating the impact that coronavirus has had on the wedding industry in Scotland. It will also give renewed hope and confidence to the many thousands of couples whose wedding plans have been affected by the pandemic restrictions as they planned their celebrations in Scotland, a leading wedding destination of the world.”
“As has been widely publicised, the wedding sector has been one of the hardest hit by pandemic restrictions, with no sector specific funding until now, and with the majority of the industry having been all but shut since March. In addition, suppliers are seeing their 2021 weddings roll ever further forward. It is worth noting however that the major difference between weddings and other hospitality sectors is that these weddings have not been lost – they have just been delayed. With support to reach the other side, the sector will bounce back like no other – from cake makers to bands, florists to photographers, our venues and more.”
Although a great step forward for the Scottish Wedding Industry we now need to see these grants or financial support schemes available across the whole UK Wedding Sector and to finally see those #excludedUK receive some much needed financial support and acknowledgement. With ABWB and many other UK Associations (NAWP and WVSG) and organisations being heavily involved in discussions with the UK MP’s and the soon-to-be-formed UK Wedding Taskforce we must stay hopeful.
To find out the current restrictions in Scotland take a look at the Scottish Tourism Alliance HERE