New nightclub grants announced

However, clubs which have operated as bars “will not be eligible”

THE Scottish Government has announced new one-off grants of up to £50,000 for nightclubs that have been closed since March – but only if they have not subsequently traded as bars.

The grants, administered by local authorities, will be based on rateable value. Businesses operating more than one premises will be able to claim one full grant and then grants of up to 75% on subsequent properties.

Premises with a rateable value of £18,000 or under can apply for grants of £10,000, with values between £18,001 and £51,000 eligible for grants of £25,000 and premises with a rateable value above £51,001 eligible for £50,000.

However, nightclubs which have operated as bars at any time since March will not be eligible for the grants and those businesses which have already successfully applied to the Cultural Organisations and Venue Recovery Fund may be eligible for smaller amounts through the new scheme.

Business minister Jamie Hepburn said businesses such as nightclubs “have been particularly badly hit by this pandemic”.

“Unlike the majority of businesses, they have not been allowed to open since March,” said Hepburn.

“These grants take account of those exceptional circumstances and will provide a boost as we continue to tackle the virus.

“We don’t want any business to remain closed for a day longer than is necessary but public health is paramount. Unfortunately we are at a critical point with infection levels rising again and it is not safe to lift restrictions on these activities.”