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14 March 2019

FSB: Tram compensation scheme must deliver for Edinburgh’s small businesses

Reference number: SPUR1403

As the City of Edinburgh Council agrees the final business case for the extension of the tram line through Leith to Newhaven, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is seeking urgent talks to ensure that the proposed £2.4 million businesses support package will help local firms along the construction route and surrounding streets.

Garry Clark, FSB Development Manager for Edinburgh, said: “As the City Council progresses with its plans to extend the tram line to Newhaven, local firms are concerned about the impact that the construction work will have on their businesses. The closure of lanes on Leith Walk and Constitution Street and the associated congestion on neighbouring roads will adversely impact trading. We know this from the construction work that happened during the preparatory works conducted last time around.

“We welcome the fact that the Council recognises this and that it will be putting in place a £2.4 million package of support for affected businesses. However the detail of this scheme has not yet been revealed and we are seeking urgent talks with the Council to ensure that direct support for local businesses is not limited to a business rates rebate, which would benefit only larger businesses. Additionally, the package must deliver for those businesses currently in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Compensation for the disruption and loss of trade during the tram works must work for all businesses, not just the larger ones.”