Rates Relief For Those Affected By Glasgow Fires
14 December 2018, 14:27 | Updated: 14 December 2018, 14:29
Almost £2 million is being used to give business rate relief for companies affected by the fires at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building and Victoria's Nightclub.
The Scottish Government has announced approximately £1.85 million of its Fire Recovery Fund will be used by Glasgow City Council to provide business rates relief and support recovery efforts following the fire in June.
No business in the immediate fire cordon area, or eligible companies in Sauchiehall Street, will have to pay business rates for the period of January to March.
Some 200 businesses in the eligible area have already received more than £3 million from the £5 million fund, which was announced by Economy Secretary Derek Mackay in July.
The recently renovated Mackintosh library had been due to reopen next year.
In addition, a £150,000 grant will be given to the Centre for Contemporary Arts to assist with its recovery plan.
The Scottish Government has already offered £20,000 of financial support to businesses directly affected by the fires and £10,000 to others in the area impacted by a reduction in shoppers.
It has also expanded its contribution to hardship rates relief and in partnership with the council has created an emergency fund to support displaced households.
Mr Mackay said: "Having already provided a great deal of assistance so far, the Scottish Government is now making the remaining balance of its Fire Recovery Fund - some £1.85 million - available to Glasgow City for further business rates relief.
"This relief will provide much-needed breathing space while businesses resume trade and allow them to focus on the commercial opportunities of the festive period in the knowledge that they will not face any additional business rates liabilities related to the period between January to March.
"The devastating fires at the Glasgow School of Art and near Victoria's Nightclub have had a significant and lasting impact on businesses, residents and the Sauchiehall Street economy alike.
"The recovery fund has given financial relief for hundreds of eligible businesses and, while the immediate disruption has passed, it is clear the effects will continue to be felt for some time.
"The council has been an invaluable partner and we will continue to work together closely to ensure the needs of the businesses most impacted are met."
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: "The Sauchiehall Street fires had a huge impact on the city, most especially on those who live and work in the vicinity.
"In response to these tragic and traumatising events, and in partnership with the Scottish Government, we ensured local businesses received the support needed at a crucial time.
"Businesses are the lifeblood of Sauchiehall Street and stability continues to be their overriding priority.
"There has been a real acceleration in the physical improvements in the area and this announcement will complement and make a significant contribution to our aims and ambitions for a 21st century Sauchiehall Street."
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: "Sauchiehall Street has had a trying year as everyone knows and the Cabinet Secretary's announced further business support for its recovery and future development is very welcome.
"So let's now get on and deliver for one of the city's most important retail and leisure thoroughfares."