An £80m support package to help businesses and communities in Scotland has been set out as the country seeks to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding has been made available by the Scottish Government and will allow local authorities to address local economic concerns.
It is aimed at maximising economic recovery from the pandemic, and is made up of the remaining funding from the £375m Omicron business support package, as well as underspend from some of the funding allocated.
A further £3m has also been allocated to the City Centre Recovery Fund.
The funding comes ahead of a statement on Covid-19 from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday.
A new strategic framework setting out an updated approach to managing and recovering from coronavirus will also be outlined.
Speaking on Monday ahead of the statement, the First Minister acknowledged the severe economic impact of public health measures brought in to combat the spread of the virus.
“This £80m Covid Economic Recovery Fund allows councils to consider the needs of local businesses, communities and households and to target support to maximise economic recovery in their areas,” she said.
“We know public health measures which were necessary to control Covid-19 have had a severe economic impact.
“And since the start of the pandemic, businesses have benefitted from more than £4.4bn in support from the Scottish Government.”
Sturgeon said the strategic framework will support resilience in communities across Scotland.
“It is our aim to get back to normality as quickly as possible,” said the First Minister.
“Our updated strategic framework, which I will set out to Parliament tomorrow, will support resilience in communities across Scotland by outlining robust plans to prepare for possible new variants or other future emergencies, should we need to act to protect public health.
“Of course, the best way to support business sustainably is to act responsibly and to sustainably manage the risks the virus presents as we begin to live the more normal life that we all crave.”
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