Media release: Scottish Bakers welcomes extension to UK furlough scheme, giving bakers in Scotland a fighting chance

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THE industry association that supports bakers throughout Scotland, Scottish Bakers, has welcomed the news that the UK scheme, to pay wages of workers on leave because of Coronavirus, will be extended to October – as reported, here, by the BBC.

The bakery sector has been hard hit despite its vital role in preparing fresh bread and bakery products daily.

The sector employs 12,000 in Scotland but Scottish Bakers’ members are reporting that 80 per cent of bakery businesses have now furloughed staff, with a significant proportion of the sector ceasing to trade altogether.

This means almost half of all bakery shops and all bakery cafes are now closed across 300 businesses, Scotland-wide, and, despite these businesses being able to access Government support, many bakers fear they will be unable to continue trading or remain viable for much longer.

Scottish Bakers chief executive, Alasdair Smith, said: “The announcement by the Chancellor offers a real lifeline to many struggling small and medium sized bakery businesses throughout Scotland.

“The extension will allow businesses to more carefully plan their escape from lockdown and begin to bring back staff in a more measured way over a longer period of time. This will help them build up their capacity as demand for their products begins to recover with greater freedom of movement for our population.

“In these uncertain times, being able to plan as far forward as the end of October is a welcome extra relief for businesses as well as helping to preserve many jobs in the sector that would otherwise have been at risk.”

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