Distillers donate £50,000 to hospitality sector

4th January, 2021 by Owen Bellwood

The Scotch whisky industry has given £50,000 (US$68,000) to two charities that support the hospitality sector.

Producers across Scotland donated £50,000 to support the hospitality industry

Producers across Scotland have pledged £25,000 (US$34,000) to both The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society (The Ben) and the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT).

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Karen Betts said: “This has been a devastating year for Scottish hospitality. Every year, Scotland’s pubs, bars and restaurants normally welcome millions of locals and tourists – to enjoy a dram, a pint or a meal – in keeping with Scotland’s tradition of kindness and hospitality.

“This year, a series of agonising closures have put the industry under severe pressure, and many establishments and jobs simply won’t survive.

“We know that many people in the industry are struggling to cope financially, and that many of these are young people at the start of their working lives or those who need flexible employment.

“The Ben and HIT Scotland work tirelessly to offer support to those suffering hardship in the industry, and their work has never been more important than it is now. We hope that this donation will help both charities continue their important work as we look ahead to better times for our hospitality sector.”

The Ben is a charity that offers financial, social and emotional support to people working in the licensed and hospitality trade. Support includes one-off grants to help people pay their bills and enable them to buy food and other essentials.

Charity HIT Scotland provides opportunities for people working in the country’s hospitality sector to participate in tailored, vocational training experiences. During the last nine months, HIT Scotland offered scholarships and online learning to ensure people remained connected, while offering learning experiences.

David Cochrane MBE, chief executive of HIT Scotland, said: “2020 has been a terrible year for hospitality, so to end the year with this donation and be able to plan with confidence for the future is a welcome relief.

“We will put the Scotch whisky industry’s generosity to good use, ensuring that Scotland’s hospitality sector is supported through the tough times and ready to welcome the world back to Scotland as soon as possible.”

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