Jackie Baillie invites Tourism Minister, Richard Lochhead, to meet with leading tourist businesses operating across the Loch Lomond area.

By Bill Heaney

The Dumbarton constituency MSP challenged the Scottish Government Minister to pass on money it has received to cut business rates for hospitality firms.

In England, businesses in the sector are eligible for rates relief of up to 75 percent but this has not been implemented in Scotland.

This is despite the fact that funding has been made available from the UK Government to deliver such a scheme.

Dame Jackie Baillie and her Scottish Labour colleague Daniel Johnson, the party’s spokesperson for the economy,  recently met with members of the Loch Lomond Destination Management Group who expressed concern about the future of the industry and the lack of support from the Scottish Government.

Jackie Baillie said: “It is disappointing that the Tourism Minister was unwilling to commit to reducing rates for tourism businesses which the Scottish Government was given funds to do.

“This demonstrates the lack of awareness of the hard work that people put in throughout the year to attract visitors to the likes of Loch Lomond and offer them a reason to return.

“It is quite clear that the Scottish Government is letting businesses down which will have a detrimental effect on the entire economy.

“I sincerely hope that Mr Lochhead will keep his promise to meet with the Loch Lomond Destination Management Group and properly listen to their concerns with a view to trying to save the tourism industry before it collapses.”

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