Election 2021: Sturgeon promises to help local high streets recover
Nicola Sturgeon is outlining plans to help local businesses and high streets recover from the pandemic.
If re-elected in May, the SNP says it is committed to the creation of liveable, accessible places, with thriving local economies, where people can meet their daily needs within a 20-minute walk.
Sturgeon will visit a local business in Glasgow on Friday and is expected to outline a package of measures to support businesses to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
There will include 100 per cent non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation sectors this year, with an investment of £719m.
The SNP also promises to invest £275m over the life of the parliament to support community-led regeneration and town centre revitalisations and support the development of ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ where residents can access the shops and facilities they need within a 20 minute walk.
A £10m “Scotland Loves Local” fund would also be created to encourage people to shop locally when they can, helping keep wealth within their community.
Sturgeon is expected to say: “We’ll never be able to thank businesses and their employees enough for the sacrifices they have made to help get the virus under control over the last twelve months. Revitalising our town centres and communities was already a priority of the SNP Government before the pandemic struck, but that agenda is now essential.
“In government, the SNP has already gone further than the UK Government by extending 100 per cent rates relief for the hardest-hit sectors for a full twelve months.
“And if re-elected, we will take forward plans to spend £275m over the life of the parliament to support community-led regeneration and town centre revitalisation - as well as supporting the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods.
“On top of this significant government investment, all of us can help our communities, and protect and create local jobs, by spending locally when we can, and we’ll build on our Scotland Loves Local campaign to highlight the many benefits of doing so.”