Pubs in Scotland face 'day of reckoning' as government help expires

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) accused Holyrood ministers of "needlessly cutting a financial lifeline" before many of the shops could reopen completely.

Support for 16.700 licensed pubs will be scrapped - after a one-off restart grant to fund reopening costs - with only 20 per cent of Scotland's pubs allowed to open under the restrictions.

Currently, bars and restaurants shouldn't serve alcohol indoors until 17 May.

Less than one quarter of licensed pubs in Scotland have outdoor spaces, which means they cannot operate without assistance as alcohol can be served outside until May 17, he said.

Asked about withdrawing the Strategic Enterprise Fund, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted this was a "fundamental mischaracterisation" to suggest support was "being withdrawn."

Signature Pub Group member Nic Wood added: "As one of Scotland's independent operators, we have 21 premises with only seven able to open on 26 April, leaving 300 of my staff reliant on furlough for longer.