Hostel Covid-19 Business Support and Continuity Fund

Support provided by Visit Scotland

What does this involve?

This fund is now open for applications. The deadline for applications is midday on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

The fund aims to help keep hostel businesses operating while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on opening and travel are still in place, and to support them to prepare for reopening in 2021 when restrictions are lifted. 

The £2.3 million fund is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland, with development input from Scottish Independent Hostels, Hostelling Scotland and Independent Hostels UK.

This fund will provide financial support for the hostel sector in the form of one-off grants . The communal nature of these facilities and their traditional guest demographic has meant that rules about physical distancing, the number of people and households which can meet indoors and operating restrictions on the use of their shared facilities have affected their trade.

Am I eligible?

This fund is open to proprietors of hostel businesses. You may be a sole trader, a partnership, a company limited by shares or by guarantee, a registered charity, a Scottish limited partnership or any other legal entity recognised under Scots Law.

You may either own or lease your business premises, but in either case you must be the party who runs the business which has been adversely financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of the application process, you will be asked to confirm that:

  • the business premises from which you trade was registered for non-domestic rates as of 23 March 2020
  • the business was trading in the same premises, located in Scotland, as of 17 February 2021
  • the non-domestic rates Property Reference Number for the business premise(s)
  • your business premises have a rateable value of £51,000 or lower
  • your business meets the definition of a hostel (see guidance on
  • you market your business as a hostel in a manner consistent with the definition of a hostel
  • your business turnover as set out in your latest filed accounts (which represent pre-Covid-19 activity) is more than £10,000 for each individual hostel for which an application is being made for
  • the business was not in financial difficulty as of 31 December 2019 if you are a SME or large organisation (please see the Subsidy Control section in the guidance document for more information)

Read the full guidance on eligibility on the VisitScotland website before making an application.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

This fund is for proprietors of hostels in Scotland which have been adversely affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.

How long does this take?

  • The fund is being launched in a phased approach - the guidance document was available from 9 February 2021.
  • The fund opened for applications at midday on 17 February 2021 - applications should be completed on
  • The fund will close for applications at midday on 2 March 2021.

Important information

If you operate multiple hostels, you will be asked to submit information for each hostel being applied for.

Applications WILL NOT be assessed on a first come first serve basis.

There will be an application assessment process before the final decision is made. If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision.

Next steps

Go to the VisitScotland website to read the full guidance and apply.

Support provided by Visit Scotland

Help us improve

We appreciate your feedback but we cannot reply to questions submitted here. Use our contact form if you need a reply. Please don't include personal or financial information like your contact details, national insurance number or credit card details.