Firms hit by Glasgow Art School fires given £2m in rates relief

Almost £2 million is being used to give business rate relief to companies affected by the fires at the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building and Victoria's Nightclub.

The Glasgow School of Art Fire. Picture: John Devlin

The Scottish Government has announced about £1.85m of its Fire Recovery Fund will be used by Glasgow City Council to provide business rates relief and support recovery efforts following the Mack fire in June.

No business in the immediate fire cordon area or eligible companies in Sauchiehall Street will have to pay business rates for the period of January to March.

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Some 200 businesses in the eligible area have already received more than £3m from the £5m fund, which was announced by economy secretary Derek Mackay in July.

The recently renovated Mackintosh library had been due to reopen next year. In addition, a £150,000 grant will be given to the Centre for Contemporary Arts to assist with its recovery plan.

The Scottish Government has already offered £20,000 of financial support to businesses directly affected by the fires and £10,000 to others in the area impacted by a fall in shopper numbers.

It has also expanded its contribution to hardship rates relief and created an emergency fund to support displaced households.

Mr Mackay said: “This relief will provide much-needed breathing space while businesses resume trade and allow them to focus on the commercial opportunities of the festive period in the knowledge that they will not face any additional business rates liabilities related to the period between January to March.

“The devastating fires at the Glasgow School of Art and near Victoria’s Nightclub have had a significant and lasting impact on businesses, residents and the Sauchiehall Street economy alike.

“The recovery fund has given financial relief for hundreds of eligible businesses and, while the immediate disruption has passed, it is clear the effects will continue to be felt for some time.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of Sauchiehall Street and stability continues to be their overriding priority.

“There has been a real acceleration in the physical improvements in the area and this announcement will complement and make a significant contribution to our aims and ambitions for a 21st-century Sauchiehall Street.”