23 Feb 2021

ABRS and Scottish Government Meeting Update

Lesley McCourt, George Baber (ABRS Trustee) and Anne Comrie (ABRS Member) met with the Scottish Government (Joe Brown, Head of Strategic Engagement and Co-ordination in the Directorate of Economic Development) on 22nd February, 2021.

Joe was grateful for our briefing on the economic case for the support of riding schools and trekking centres.  He now has a much better understanding of the issues, with solid examples of the hardship and challenges provided by Lesley and Anne.

Joe has undertaken to consider the evidence presented, will talk with colleagues in the Scottish Government and other UK Nations, and has asked that we meet with him again in early-March.  He will, when we next meet, provide feedback on what is and is not possible in the form of financial support.

Options available to him will be dependent on the financial settlement agreed between the UK and Scottish Governments for the new financial year which starts in April.

We are grateful for the direct, open engagement with us by the Scottish Government.  We were disappointed that there was no immediate help offered.  However, we are encouraged by the request to meet again and we, as an industry, must keep the pressure up over the coming two to three weeks.