SCOTTISH businesses at risk from covid are to share a £25m government package to improve ventilation.
The grants will be aimed at “high risk” businesses which bring people into close proximity, such as restaurants, bars and gyms.
Companies will helped to undertake potentially costly work such as altering windows and vents and installing carbon dioxide monitors.
The money is set to come online in November and could help reopen businesses shut for many months by the pandemic.
An expert advice group, chaired by Professor Tim Sharpe from the University of Strathclyde, unanimously recommended that businesses should be supported to improve ventilation.
The Group was established in August to advise how enhanced ventilation can help reduce transmission of the virus.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Improved ventilation will play a significant role in reducing transmission indoors, support the sustained opening of society and contribute to our wider Covid recovery.
“Many of the businesses we are targeting have been closed for long periods and it is right that they are helped to undertake this work.
Sturgeon added: “We are allocating up to £25m to assist small and medium-sized enterprises and expect to begin making payments in November.
“The package will initially target higher risk sectors where people spend significant amounts of time in close proximity to each other, such as hospitality and leisure, and will make indoor settings safer, especially through the winter months.”
It is expected that further details of the grants, including eligibility and timing, will be published on findbusinesssupport.gov.scot in due course.