MP calls on government to support north-east wedding industry
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A North-east MP has made an impassioned plea for both Scotland’s governments to support an industry about to go through its “third winter” this year.
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie called for targeted support for the weddings and events industry, which he said feels “left behind” in consideration of Covid-19 restrictions.
As it involves up to 20 contractors to run an average wedding, he said the March lockdown and subsequent tightening of restrictions since October had affected far more than headline venues.
In the Commons chamber, Mr Bowie said the weddings, events and conference industry are big business in a constituency that has natural advantages such as the castle trail, Royal Deeside, Strathdon, the Cairngorm mountains and the Howe of the Mearns.
He said: “I want to make a special plea to the governments here and in Edinburgh for part of the hospitality sector that feels that it has been left behind.
“Weddings, events and conferences are big business.
"The wedding industry alone in my constituency makes about £15 million a year...
“When we speak of an events company suffering or a wedding being postponed, it is not just the wedding organiser or the conference organiser — the headline company — that suffers, but a long list of suppliers and contractors who work for and with them, such as lighting specialists, sound engineers, musicians, caterers, photographers, flower arrangers and private vehicle hire to mention but a few.
“I ask the governments here and in Edinburgh to remember the forgotten people of the hospitality sector as we move through winter.
“For them, it will be the third winter this year.”
Conservative Mr Bowie asked the Treasury to take account of the industry in the same way it has provided for frontline hospitality and catering.