A £14m government fund for Scotland’s hotel industry has been “heavily oversubscribed” to, following a reported “catastrophic miscalculation” on the level of support needed by the sector, according to the Scottish Herald.
While 60 hotels were expected to sign up for the flagship support, nearly 300 are said to have applied.
Therefore, it is now expected that many hotels will not receive enough government backing, leaving “scores of hotels” and “thousands of workers” at risk.
Jackie Baillie, Labour’s deputy leader and finance spokesperson, said in a parliamentary question to the SNP: “The SNP’s catastrophic miscalculation on the level of support needed risks leaving scores of hotels high and dry and puts the jobs of thousands of workers at risk.
“Tourism is pivotal to Scotland’s economy, but the SNP are playing fast and loose with the very future of the industry by providing such limited support.
She added: “Frankly, the support on offer doesn’t touch the sides. It’s time for SNP ministers to go back to the drawing board and come up with a proper plan to protect our hotel industry.”
While Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s rural economy secretary, acknowledged that the programme was “heavily oversubscribed”, he claimed that the SNP is confident it will “exceed the original expected number of hotels supported”.