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Fund lifeline for Moray wedding industry businesses

By Alan Beresford

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MORAY businesses whose main income derives from the wedding industry are being urged to apply to a new fund.

Moray's wedding industry has been handed a financial boost by the Scottish Government.
Moray's wedding industry has been handed a financial boost by the Scottish Government.

The recently launched Scottish Wedding Industry Fund has a pot of £25 million, with applications for grants remaining open until the cash is exhausted.

It aims to support these businesses to continue to operate in the short and medium term, offering grants of between £5000 and £25,000 based on annual turnover, to eligible businesses who rely on the sector for 50 per cent or more of their turnover.

The fund is being provided by the Scottish Government and administered by HIE, Scottish Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise.

One of those urging eligible businesses to apply is Forres-based Department of Work and Pensions employer and partnership manager Jane Munro.

She said: "We’re expecting a high number of applications from this industry, with weddings/civil partnerships being a core business of an estimated 5500 firms across Scotland.

"If you’re aware of anyone who may be interested or who needs more information on the fund, please direct them to the Find Business Support website in the first instance, where they can find full details on eligibility and FAQs.

"They can also call 0300 303 0660 or email weddingindustryfund@hient.co.uk"

Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance co-founder Caroline Inchyra commented: "This funding will give renewed hope to the many businesses who have been unable to operate in a viable way for almost a year."

Carroll Buxton, deputy chief executive at HIE, said the wedding industry was an integral part of the region's tourism and hospitality sector.

She said: "With restrictions in place over the past year, many businesses whose main income is from weddings will have been hit hard by cancellations.

"The Scottish Wedding Industry Fund is about supporting those businesses through the current difficulties and on to recovery. We look forward to working with our partner agencies in maximising the benefits of the fund across the whole country."

Potential applicants should enter their postcode on the Find Business Support website and if in the Moray area, they are routed to the HIE website where they can complete the application form.

Registered companies, as well as sole traders, partnerships, registered charities, and trusts can apply.

Eligible businesses are being encouraged to ensure they are prepared to provide evidence of: Bank statement from the last three months; Bank statement showing they were trading before December 31, 2019; Generating an annual turnover of at least £10k before March 2020.

Businesses should visit https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ for full eligibility criteria.

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