A new tranche of money is being released that could help support businesses and charities through the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses and third sector organisations in Shetland will be able to make use of the Scottish Crown Estate fund totalling £7.2 million.
In total 26 councils which have coastlines can tap into the fund. It is aimed at offering direct support to struggling coastal enterprises and organisations and comes after an agreement between the Scottish government and local authorities’ organisation Cosla.
The fund, from Scottish Crown Estate net revenues, is normally used for projects delivering coastal community benefit. It is on top of the £2.2 billion package of business support already announced by the Scottish government.
Environment and climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said everything possible was being done to support communities.
“By widening the remit for the use of Scottish Crown Estate revenues we are enabling local authorities to directly support local coastal businesses, including third sector organisations, facing the full force of this economic shock.
“Following discussions with Cosla we have written to local authorities to encourage them to look at ways they can use these funds, where required, to help hard-pressed businesses and organisations to get through this challenging period.”
Cosla’s environment and economy spokesman person, Orkney councillor Steven Heddle, said: “This letter is a timely reminder that councils play a key role in supporting local businesses and their coastal communities, especially in these exceptionally challenging times, and that there is scope for funding from Crown Estate net revenues to contribute to this.
“I also welcome the Scottish government’s intention to ensure that the next tranche of funding is distributed as swiftly as possible to local authorities this year as joint work progresses on the longer-term review to develop an appropriate approach for the future distribution methodology.”