Covid update: funding secured for the Scottish wedding industry amid the pandemic

Yesterday, finance secretary Kate Forbes announced a £15 million grant package for the Scottish wedding industry and its supply chain with applications for funding due to open in January

GGs Yard
Founder of the SWIA, Duncan McConchie, is managing director of the gorgeous GGs Yard (above) in Dumfries and Galloway

It’s been a tough year for everyone, but the wedding industry has undoubtedly taken one of the hardest hits, with dreams shattered and guest lists slashed left, right and centre. However, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel: after lobbying from the newly formed Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance (SWIA), the Scottish Government yesterday announced that it is to make £15 million available to the sector and its supply chain with applications for a new grant scheme to open in January.

SWIA founder Duncan McConchie (also managing director of Laggan Life who run popular Dumfries and Galloway wedding venue GGs Yard) says, “We must thank the Scottish Government for being the first UK government to create a wedding sector specific funding package and for recognising the wedding industry as a vital sector in the Scottish economy. Weddings in this country support 14,000 small- and medium-sized businesses and have an economic impact of £1.4 billion a year.

“This funding, whilst not as significant as the SWIA had hoped, will go a long way towards mitigating the impact that coronavirus has had on the wedding industry in Scotland. It will also give renewed hope and confidence to the many thousands of couples whose wedding plans have been affected by the pandemic restrictions as they planned their celebrations in Scotland, a leading wedding destination of the world.

“As has been widely publicised, the wedding sector has been one of the hardest hit by pandemic restrictions, with no sector specific funding until now, and with the majority of the industry having been all but shut since March. In addition, suppliers are seeing their 2021 weddings roll ever further forward. It is worth noting however that the major difference between weddings and other hospitality sectors is that these weddings have not been lost – they have just been delayed. With support to reach the other side, the sector will bounce back like no other – from cake makers to bands, florists to photographers, our venues and more.”

We are so ready for the bounce-back when it happens.