Businesses impacted by the fires at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building and Victoria’s Nightclub will be able to access a fund of up to £5 million, Economy Secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed.
The Scottish Government will make the additional funding available to Glasgow City Council for distribution to businesses within the security cordons, and to those in the Sauchiehall Street area who can demonstrate hardship as a result of the impact of the fires.
All businesses within both the Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s cordon will receive £20,000 of direct financial support, with other businesses in the area who have been impacted by a fall in footfall eligible for £10,000 of support.
Glasgow City Council will administer the funding with applications for all businesses open from the 31stJuly. Eligibility criteria for those outside the cordon will be set out ahead of the opening of applications following discussion with local business advisers.
The immediate support follows steps already taken by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council in response to the fire at the Mack to deliver 100% rates relief for affected businesses and grants of £3000 made available to households in the cordoned off area and for which the Council has to date made 44 payments relating to 47 individuals in 33 properties.
Glasgow Kelvin MSP, Sandra White, commented on today’s announcement:
“The fires that ravaged Sauchiehall Street & Garnethill have left many businesses in an incredibly precarious position. As such I made calls to the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council to offer any and all support they can to my constituents.
“While I welcomed the already announced 100% rates relief that these businesses are now eligible for I believe today’s announcement will go a considerable distance further in lessening the hardship on our business community. These measures will work in tandem with the efforts already deployed by GCC, such as the Sauchiehall Street Task Force which has been established to protect the future of this historic street.”
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said:
“The terrible fires at the Glasgow School of Art and Victoria’s are having a significant impact on many local businesses who are either closed or unable to access their premises. Given the scale of the on-going disruption, I am making up to £5 million available immediately to support those businesses affected.
“The sheer scale and lasting effects of the fires on those involved are becoming clear and it is important that businesses are given financial support to help them through this very challenging time. This funding will also help minimise the impact on the economy of the city as everyone involved works to help businesses and residents return to their premises as quickly and safely as possible.
“The Scottish Government has already increased our contribution to hardship funding from 75% to 95%, and made available £1,500, matched by the Lord Provost’s Trust for vulnerable citizens, to residents displaced from their homes by the Mackintosh building fire and will extend that to businesses facing the same impacts as a result of the fire at Victoria’s. We will continue to work with Glasgow City Council to ensure the emergency funding is released to all those impacted as soon as possible, and we will continue to monitor the situation and consider what further assistance might be required.”
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said:
“The Victoria’s and School of Art fires have had a significant adverse impact on businesses at both ends of the street. The Council has been working closely with the Scottish Government to facilitate this fund, which we hope will assist those business affected by both events.
“This fund complements the range of actions that we have taken in the past few weeks to support businesses including the use of the Glasgow Guarantee to support employees, having dedicated business support advisers based in the Dental Hospital and the Savoy Centre, supporting businesses to relocate outwith the cordon, hosting a session on insurance and legal issues with Harper McLeod, introducing zero rating for businesses in the cordons and reduced rates for businesses who can demonstrate detrimental impact. Additionally, I have convened a Sauchiehall Street Task Force which is working on plans for the future viability and vibrancy of the street.”