GLAGOW City leaders are developing a proposal that will help boost the city’s night-time economy while preventing the further spread of covid-19.

Council officers have been working closely with the Scottish Government throughout the pandemic to secure funding to help businesses affected by persistent lockdowns.

The local authority recently set up a taskforce with “night-time economy representatives” to ensure council bosses respond effectively to their issues.

During a full council meeting Glasgow’s Labour leader asked what engagement there had been with the Scottish Government to provide greater clarity and assistance to businesses which can only operate at night.

Leader of the Council, Susan Aitken, said: “In the last six months alone more than £48 million has been paid to businesses in the city centre through various funds, much of which has gone to businesses operating in hospitality and leisure.

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“The taskforce has benefitted from involvement from Scottish and UK Government officials to ensure that the issues and challenges faced by the sector are fed directly into both governments ensuring maximum opportunity is provided for additional support.

“Our city centre taskforce chaired by the council and the Chamber of Commerce is working on a blueprint for the recovery and re-set period to ensure that the new city centre strategy picks up on all the identified issues as we move forward in reopening the city centre.”

Mr Cunning pointed out that there had been certain problems for certain sectors particularly the entertainment industry.

He said that social distancing rules had caused problems for these places economically.

Councillor Cunning said: “Rules of social distance preclude their opening, even though the general guidelines might allow opening, the general capacity is not economically viable.

Glasgow Times: Susan Aitken Susan Aitken

“What particular discussions have been had to develop a route map for those sectors so that they can have some light at the end of the tunnel?”

Councillor Aitken agreed that difficult times still lay ahead.

She added: “This is a point that has been made by the SEC board of which I am a member. These issues have been raised and the cabinet secretary has made comment on them and agrees the two-metre distancing does present a particular challenge for these sectors.

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“Challenges still remain. The increase in Covid-19 numbers which we have seen in Glasgow this week is very worrying and should remind all of us that there remains a need for caution and patience and we need to balance that with the needs of business leaders within the city.”