SCOTLAND’S COUNTRY sports tourism businesses which have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic can now apply for grant funding of up to £25,000.

The game sector was left out of the first version of the Scottish Government's funding scheme to prop up businesses shut down by the pandemic, prompting Scottish Land and Estates to write to both Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, and Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Tourism, Fiona Hyslop, as well as speaking to Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing.

SLE warned that by missing out this part of the tourism sector from grant funding opportunities, ScotGov risked the lockdown having a longer-term impact on rural communities whose livelihoods rely hunting, shooting and fishing.

As a result, country sports tourism businesses are now able to apply to ScotGov’s Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, where grants of up to £25,000 can be accessed in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

SLE head of policy, Stephen Young, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for listening to our concerns and rectifying the error of missing out this important arm of Scotland’s tourism sector. Country sports tourism businesses play a crucial role in rural Scotland. They employ local people and attract visitors who boost the rural economy and provide a livelihood for locals. If these businesses do not survive this pandemic, it could mean irreparable damage for the people who live and work in these communities.”