£ 25 million fund to support the wedding sector, which has been hit by the

A £ 25 million fund to help the wedding sector “hard hit” by the coronavirus pandemic will open for applications this week.

The Fund will provide one-time grants of up to £ 25,000 to eligible businesses in the sector affected by the effects of Covid-19, including wedding venues, photographers, florists, caterers and suppliers.

The Scottish Government said that in recognition of the ongoing challenges facing the sector, a further £ 10m has been added to the £ 15m announced in December.

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The fund is managed regionally by the three Scottish corporate agencies – South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Treasury Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The pandemic has had a serious impact on the Scottish wedding sector and we know that the current restrictions, which are well necessary to our fight against Covid-19, continue to weigh on the sector.

“I want to encourage anyone who thinks they are eligible to learn more about applications. We want to help as many companies survive this pandemic as possible.”

“We have provided more than £ 3 billion to businesses since this pandemic began, but we know that it can never compensate for the unprecedented impact this has had on business.

“We will continue to work with the resources we have at our disposal to protect businesses and create a greater recovery for Scotland.”

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Under current coronavirus rules, no more than five people can attend a wedding ceremony or partnership registration in level 4 areas, and wedding receptions cannot take place.

In the Level 1, 2 and 3 areas, no more than 20 people can attend the ceremony and reception.

Caroline Inchyra, Co-Founder of the Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance (SWIA) said: “On behalf of the Scottish wedding industry, we are delighted that the sector has received £ 25 million from the Scottish Government.

“We must thank the Scottish Government for recognizing the wedding industry as an important part of the Scottish economy and the corporate agencies for working with us to make sure this fund has as much impact as possible.

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“This funding will give new hope to the many companies that have been unable to operate in a sustainable manner for nearly a year.

“SWIA looks forward to continued positive collaboration with the Scottish Government as the wedding industry traverses the toughest trading conditions this highly resilient sector has ever faced.”

Other companies eligible to apply for the fund include videographers, marquee rentals (including tipis), wedding attire, and entertainment such as bands, DJs, pipers, and string quartets.