MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Claire Baker, has called on the Scottish Government to make clear what funding is available to culture and leisure trusts to address closure risks.

The Fife Leisure Trust has repeatedly aired their concern at the time it is taking to get facilities such as Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre (Monday September 28) and Bowhill Pool (late October), open.

During Portfolio Questions on Communities and Local Government, at the Scottish Parliament, Ms Baker highlighted funding for local government which is available in Barnett consequentials, asking the Scottish Government when this will be available in Scotland and how to ensure culture and leisure trusts benefit from it.

Community Leisure UK, in Scotland, has warned that 70% of members will not be viable within 12 months, with over a third financially at risk in the next six months.

The Scottish Labour MSP said: “With reports that more than a third of Scotland’s culture and leisure trusts may not be viable beyond six months, now is the time to take action.

“Local councils in England are being provided with a compensation scheme to address income loss related to services like leisure and culture and we need to see the consequentials used to deliver a similar scheme in place in Scotland to avoid the risk of service closures.

“I asked the Scottish Government to set out a timescale for delivery of this funding, and to ensure it is made available to arms-length organisations and community and leisure trusts.

“The Scottish Government needs to set out how its allocation from the UK Government funding will ensure our community culture and leisure services can continue to provide vital services for wellbeing.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last month: "This is a really challenging time for individuals and organisations in the culture and leisure sector. We will continue to do all that we can to support them.

"Obviously, it is the responsibility of individual local authorities to allocate funding based on needs and priorities, but we are working closely with partners—including the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Museums Galleries Scotland, and the Scottish Library and Information Council—to understand the specific circumstances that are faced in supporting culture and leisure trusts as they seek to mitigate the impact of the pandemic".