£2.5m Restart Fund

Date published: 27 January 2021

£2.5 million fund launched to help marine and outdoor adventure businesses restart

A £2.5 million fund to help adventure and marine tourism businesses in Scotland prepare for the 2021 season was launched today (27 January) by VisitScotland.

 The new Marine and Outdoor Tourism Restart Fund will be administered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government in partnership with sector groups Wild Scotland and Sail Scotland who secured this funding on behalf of their sectors. The fund is part of an overall £104.3 million package of support for tourism businesses who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and will be open for applications from midday on 2 February, with guidance on the fund launched today.

 The purpose of this funding is to support the essential re-commissioning and re-start costs for businesses, aimed at those who have been significantly affected by the pandemic due to their seasonality and high set up costs associated with the activities they deliver.  It is aimed at responsible tourism operators who provide sustainable outdoor related activities to visitors on land and water, from wildlife watching to charter and sailing holidays, bushcraft and survival to canoeing and mountaineering.

 Due to the complexity and variety of businesses within the sector, two strands have been put in place, with businesses able to apply to just one. These are for either marine and boating tourism operators or outdoor wildlife, adventure and activity sector tourism businesses. A full list of eligible businesses and guidelines can be found here:


Businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to £15,000 with full details on the fund available here alongside the eligibility criteria and what information applicants will need to prepare for their application. The fund will be open for applications from Tuesday 2 February and the final amounts awarded to a successful applicant will be determined once all applications are received by the closing date of 5pm on 9 February.

Alan Rankin, CEO, Sail Scotland, said:
“Industry surveys indicated over 75% of operators in the charter and small cruise sector secured 2 months or less of trading in 2020. Managers of local visitor moorings and pontoon services faced a vastly curtailed season, many of whom are not for profit community led groups operating on extremely thin margins.

“The Fund aims to support operators meet the high re-commissioning and re-start costs associated with the sector and will provide much needed confidence to many operators. The importance of supporting the sector at this time of year is vital, not just for direct jobs but also the valuable economic benefits Marine Tourism brings to rural and remote coastal and island communities”

Sail Scotland