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Industry nets Euro subsidy

The hotel and tourism industry has been singled out by the European Union for investment assistance.

Under the European Investment Bank’s loan subsidy scheme, companies can obtain rebates of up to £30,000 on loan payments, depending on the extent of the project and financing.

Companies planning to invest in the hotel or tourism sectors are eligible for a subsidy if they have fewer than 500 employees and fixed assets of less than £60m.

A spokesman for the scheme said there was no geographical restriction, though companies in areas designated as having “assisted area status”, such as Wales, western Scotland and Northern Ireland, would have their application treated more favourably.

The scheme is designed to improve the asset base of European industry. It would apply to hotel construction and refurbishment, theme parks and museums.

Unlike the former Section 4 grants for hotel development, the EIB scheme is a loan subsidy which is designed to assist companies to hang on to their working capital.

The scheme is administered in the UK by Barclays Mercantile, the leasing subsidiary of Barclays Bank.

Successful applications receive a one-off cheque from Barclays Mercantile, which has 29 offices around the UK. Up to now, 360 applications have been processed by Barclays Mercantile and 91% were successful. However, there has been very little response from the hotel and tourism industry, a situation Barclays is keen to rectify.

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