BUSINESSES across Inverclyde have been given a big boost thanks to a £700,000 investment by the Scottish Government.

Inverclyde's MP Ronnie Cowan today welcomed news that a succession of local firms are receiving urgent assistance to help them get through the coronavirus crisis.

Eleven small and medium enterprises in the area shared £576,452 between them from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF).

A separate fund called the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprise Hardship Fund distributed £125,554 of funding to a further 13 businesses in the area.

Food and drink manufacturers Aulds and Buchanan's were able to claim the sums of £130,000 and £94,000 respectively from the PERF.

There was also good news for manufacturing firm Renfrewshire Electronics Limited, who will net £100,000.

Meanwhile Inverkip Hotel collected £27,000 and Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce picked up £10,000.

Mr Cowan said he was particularly delighted that the Beacon Arts Centre was granted £25,000 from the creative fund, as they were not eligible for other coronavirus business grants.

The Tele has previously reported the scale of the crisis facing the venue, which is relying on handouts to survive due to the lockdown which has effectively destroyed its events diary.

The same funding stream saw Castle Levan bed and breakfast receive £17,493.

Mr Cowan said: "I welcome the financial support which has been provided by the Scottish Government to businesses in Inverclyde during Covid-19, to ensure they are able to survive and make ends meet.

"These are both challenging and difficult times and it’s vital the local economy begins to bounce back."

The MP also reiterated his calls for the Chancellor to maintain the coronavirus job retention scheme which has helped 9,000 people in the district.

He said: "The UK Government must u-turn on these reckless plans to axe the furlough scheme in the middle of a global health pandemic and economic crisis or we will face a further wave of mass redundancies - another hammer blow we cannot afford.

"By refusing to act and devolve the necessary powers - choosing instead to prematurely cut off support - the Tory government is risking thousands of unnecessary job losses and years of pain for communities across Scotland and the UK.”