Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice has welcomed a Scottish Government cash boost to support the nation’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

The Government has confirmed that it will provide another £600,000 to further the work of BIDs across the country in the 2021/22 financial year.

Cash will be used to help drive local collaboration through recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, to support digital and marketing communication and activities around safe reopening, such as sanitising stations, PPE, social distancing markers and sneeze screens as well as local business guides. Advice on how to access funds will be shared shortly.

It builds on the £1.85m provided to BIDs since the outbreak of coronavirus, supporting businesses and communities to respond to the challenges they face.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) is responsible for the Scotland’s Improvement Districts programme. It works with communities across the country to help them deliver local economic growth.

Mr Prentice, who is also National Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, said: “The commitment of a further £600,000 from the Scottish Government to support BIDs is very welcome indeed.

“Across Scotland, BIDs and their members have been at the forefront of the local economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic and have critical parts to play in the longer term recovery, which will be to the national benefit. The importance and great value of BIDs has shone through.

“We look forward to supporting communities and the Government to develop this work as we help shape a stronger, greener, healthier and fairer future for Scotland’s communities, one which I am sure will have localism at its heart.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “I’m delighted we have been able to provide an additional £600,000 funding which builds on over £1.85 million to BIDs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This funding has been vital to address immediate concerns and allow for resilience and focussed support to local businesses and communities during the pandemic. BIDs have shown the enormous contribution that they make to the communities across Scotland and we will continue to work closely with STP to help shape a fairer and stronger future for Scotland’s communities as we recover from the pandemic.”

BIDs have been powerful advocates of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, spearheaded by STP with the support of the Scottish Government. It has encouraged everyone to think local first and support businesses in their community through the challenges caused by coronavirus.

There are currently about 40 BIDs across Scotland with more in development.

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