Trump's Scottish golf resorts raked in millions in UK subsidies as Covid limited business
Trump's forays into Scottish tourism and politics over the years have had mixed results, with controversy centred on his development of a golf course near Aberdeen AFP/File / Andy BUCHANAN

According to a report from the BBC, two of Donald Trump's golf resorts in Scotland, were the recipients of a combined £3m in furlough money from the UK government that was offered to keep people working as the Covid-19 pandemic created havoc, according to newly published document.

The BBC had reported that furlough money was designed to pay "the wages of people who couldn't work, or whose employers could no longer afford to pay them," and Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited, and Golf Recreation Scotland Ltd which owns Trump's Turnberry golf course, took advantage of the program while at the same time cutting back on employees as business fell.

The BBC reports that Trump's son, Eric, issued a statement reading, "Government support was helpful to retain as many jobs as possible, however the uncertainty of the duration of support and the pandemic's sustained impact meant that redundancies were required to prepare the business for the long term effects to the hospitality industry."

According to the report, "The company received a total of £2.3m in grants under the furlough scheme in 2020, the accounts say, while the average number of employees fell from 541 to 289. A subsidiary of the company, SLC Turnberry Ltd, made further furlough claims of between £435,000 and £1.1m from January to August 2021, according to government data not included in the published accounts."

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The report adds, "Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited, which owns Donald Trump's golf course in Aberdeenshire, also saw a steep drop in turnover, from £3.3m in 2019 to £1.1m in 2020, although the company's losses rose only slightly, from £1.1m to £1.3m. The accounts note that while golf was permitted for much of the year, the Macleod House hotel was closed from 21 March onwards, and the restaurants and dining facilities only opened in June and closed again on 20 November."

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