The Government has loosened the criteria for a scheme aimed at preserving the island’s covid-hit visitor attractions, and events, sectors after just a handful of businesses were successful in applying for a share of the £3.5m funding pot.
In mid-February, Express revealed that just two businesses had received a total of £15,156.45 between them after applying for the Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme (VAES), which was announced in January.
Businesses within the sector told Express the problem was that the scheme was "not fit for purpose" because the criteria was too stringent for them to be able to apply, and penned an open letter to Government on the matter.
The Government has this morning confirmed that it will be easing entry criteria to the scheme in response, admitting that take-up had been “lower than expected."
All applications received from today will be processed in line with the new scheme’s requirements. However, the Government said that anyone who applied to the old scheme will have their application processed in line with previous, more stringent requirements.
The changes are as follows.
Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham commented: “The larger attractions and events companies provide key infrastructure that underpins our tourism and hospitality industries which, in turn, support our air and sea transport links.
“This sector will play a vital role in the Island’s economic recovery but it has been particularly impacted by the pandemic so it’s important we provide support to sustain these businesses.”
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