The bank was unable to reveal the percentage of funding lent to the hotel sector in particular, saying these details were “commercially sensitive”.
As Scotland prepares to host the 20th Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland 2014, Santander Corporate & Commercial as already lent £30m to hotel and leisure businesses in the first half of the year.
Now the bank is making another £70m available to help these companies capitalise on the tourism boost prompted by the events.
Growth in demand
Kevin Boyd, divisional managing director, Scotland, Northern Ireland & North East England at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Scotland has long been home to businesses which are characterised by their innovation and determination to succeed, and we are committed to helping them achieve their ambitions. The 20th Commonwealth Games and other great events this year are having a strong impact on the Scottish hotels and leisure sectors, which look set to continue to be a positive contributor to Scotland’s economy.
“Entrepreneurs are building on the interest generated by these events and their legacy by investing in existing businesses, launching new ones, and so creating long-term employment opportunities. We’ve supported businesses in these sectors with facilities ranging from £12,000 to more than £13m so far this year.”
Santander’s UK business lending has grown by an average of 20 per cent per year over the last four years. The bank opened a new business centre in Inverness earlier this year and will move to new, larger business centres in Aberdeen in July, Edinburgh in November, and Dundee before the end of 2014.
Glasgow hotels enjoyed record occupancy at 87.4 per cent in May ahead of the Commonwealth Games – the highest average since records began in 1999. In the same month, both Edinburgh and Aberdeen saw occupancy drop.