Scottish minister confirms arcades are eligible for 100% of relief funding

Bacta, the industry association for UK owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades and amusement machines, has confirmed that – following discussions with Ben Macpherson MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Migration in the Scottish Government – members in Scotland are eligible for the 100% Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Relief for 2020-21. The relief will be backdated to 1 April 2020.

Mr. Macpherson told bacta: “I am aware of the differences in the treatment of amusement arcades, with a number of local authorities interpreting the regulations as they are currently written in such a way that some amusement arcades are not benefitting from the Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure Relief.

I thought it might be helpful to alert you to the fact that I shortly intend to bring forward secondary legislation to extend eligibility to include premises used wholly or mainly as amusement arcades and amusement centres. I have requested that my officials make local authorities aware of these regulations when they are laid in the Scottish Parliament later this month.”

Joseph Cullis, the Scottish Regional Chairman of bacta said, “This is very welcome news for Scottish arcades like ours, which have been suffering since we went into lockdown. We are very grateful to the Minister for the clarification.”

John White, CEO of bacta, added, “We would like to thank Ben Macpherson MSP and his team for listening to our requests on behalf of our Scottish members and responding so promptly and positively. This will go a long way to ensuring that these arcade businesses will be able to continue to contribute to the Scottish economy and continue to provide fun for families visiting the coast.”

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