Staff at one of Scotland’s most iconic hotels have been told to expect job cuts as a result of the “significant impact” of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews has told workers the decline in global travel means insufficient custom to sustain the existing level of staffing.
It is not yet known how many posts could be affected at the landmark, which plans to reopen its doors on August 1, but general manager Helen McBride said she hoped to limit the impact.
In an email to staff, she said: “The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, and hospitality industry as a whole has been significantly impacted by the covid-19 pandemic – far greater than many other industries.
“The decline in travel globally makes our path forward different than before and we must adjust our operations to reflect the changing environment.”
Another St Andrews company owner has issued a blunt ‘use us or lose us’ warning as he urged Scots to support independent local businesses this summer.
Bill Geddes, of outdoor lifestyle store CCW, said: “In all my years in retail, this is the biggest challenge we’ve faced.
“With people still reluctant to travel, these next few months will be critical as lockdown restrictions lift.
“Our pubs and stores will only survive if we rally round and show our support this summer.”
Mr Geddes pledged action, including large discounts, to ensure his Market Street store survived but warned others may not be able to do so.
With one in five jobs in St Andrews dependent on tourism, the Old Course announcement has prompted calls for more help for struggling businesses.
North East Fife Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie said urgent financial support was neededeconomic stimulus was vital for businesses.
“If this is right then it’s deeply concerning that such an iconic institution in north east Fife is affected in this way,” he said.
“This is just one example of what we’re facing and after months of uncertainty, many people will be facing yet more whilst they hunt for new employment.
“This is why we need additional economic stimulus on top of what the chancellor announced this week to assist, not just the tourism and hospitality sector, but all those businesses that continue to be affected by the various restrictions.
“Now is the time to support our local businesses and shops so they can survive and grow.”