Saturday 25 May 2024
 12.1°C   ESE Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Coronavirus / Plenty of cash went unused in Covid discretionary fund

JUST under £250,000 was distributed to Shetland businesses under a scheme for those who may have not been eligible for earlier Covid support funding – despite the Scottish Government offering more than £900,000.

Shetland Islands Council’s economic development service manager Tommy Coutts said that £248,000 was given out to 62 businesses through the Covid discretionary fund.

This was out of 115 applicants. The main reason for the refusals was that businesses had already received other government grants.

The discretionary fund, which is administered by local authorities, was established by the Scottish Government earlier this year, and locally there was a deadline for applications of 31 March.

It was designed to provide support for businesses which may have fallen through the cracks.

After the government upped the level of funding available for each council area in Scotland, Shetland was given an allocation of just over £912,000.

This was despite the maximum grant being set at £4,000.

Coutts said he felt the amount of unused funding in Shetland was partly down to the size of the allocation, and the demand.

“I think the demand on the fund that we got wasn’t as high as we thought it might be,” he said.

“An awful lot of our applications that came in had actually accessed Scottish Government money from other sources and weren’t eligible for the fund.”

He added that between it being announced and its launch, there were a lot of other funds announced, in areas like outdoor tourism and small accommodation.

The businesses that did access the discretionary funding were a “total mixture”, Coutts said.

Meanwhile the main Covid business support schemes have come to an end.

With local authorities administering the schemes, Coutts said there has been a “considerable amount of work” involved.

But he said it was a very worthwhile initiative for local businesses who have may been struggling.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.