Tourism business calls for furlough extension until Easter to help Highlands

A major Highland tourism operator has called for the government’s furlough scheme to be extended till Easter 2021 to avoid large-scale redundancies in the sector.

Cobbs, which employs 300 staff, which include at four resorts near Loch Ness and cafes throughout Scotland, fears it will be not able to keep vital staff after the scheme ends due to reduction of money in the course of lockdown.

Director Fraser Campbell said: “Businesses will need to have extended furlough payments from October appropriate the way by means of to Easter as it appears to be like like we will be struggling with the equal of 3 winters on the trot.

“We just really don’t know what this summer months will provide. Bookings are really several and significantly amongst in the resorts at the moment. It is truly stressing.”

Mr Campbell said he would typically count on all Cobb’s resorts to be comprehensive in the course of the summer months, but added: “I feel if we can get fifty% we will be lucky.

“We come to feel there must be a thing else from the governing administration to enable us keep the extremely skilled people we have in our market.

“We hope just about every day we will hear an announcement so we can spend the staff over the winter and can then hit the ground functioning.

“It would be ridiculous if they are not pondering that way as our market is of paramount value to the Highlands.”

Scottish Tourism Alliance chief govt Marc Crothall said there is widespread assistance for an extension to the furlough scheme.

“In its present-day type, business will have to spend into it and there will be quite a few who will not be capable to spend everything in direction of furlough.

“So we need to have to search at a range of assistance offers to see the market over the winter period of time.

“It’s a large question and, regretably, it is not likely to stave-off the previously considerable amount of redundancy consultations having put.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “We have presented a generous and huge-ranging deal of assistance for businesses.

“Our task retention scheme has shielded additional than 9 million employment throughout the United kingdom and has been extended till October.”

He said assistance also contains bounce back again loans, a business charges getaway, VAT deferrals and dollars grants.