Trump’s Scotland golf course claimed $4m in furlough aid

Eric Trump blamed Covid restrictions and Brexit for multi-million dollar losses at both of the family’s Scottish golf courses

Bevan Hurley
Saturday 25 December 2021 18:56
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<p>Donald Trump on a previous visit to his Scottish golf course </p>

Donald Trump on a previous visit to his Scottish golf course

Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses claimed $4million (£3m) in Covid-relief furlough payouts from the UK Government, according to newly released accounts.

Filings with the UK’s Companies House showed Trump holding company Golf Recreation Scotland Ltd, which owns Trump Turnberry, sustained a loss of $4.55m (£3.4m) in 2020.

The Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire was forced to shutter from March to July 2020, and again from November to April 2021.

It received more than $3m (£2.3m) in furlough payments after reducing staff numbers from an average of 541 to 289.

Trump International in Aberdeenshire reported a loss of $1.74m (£1.3m) over the same period.

The BBC reported SLC Turnberry, a subsidiary of Golf Recreation Scotland, received between $582,000 and $1.47m (£435,000 and £1.1m) from January to August 2021 in additional furlough claims not published by the UK Government.

Eric Trump, the company director, signed off on a statement which said: “Government support was helpful to retain as many jobs as possible, however, 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.”

Both courses saw revenue plummet due to Covid restrictions.

Donald Trump cuts a ribbon on the 9th tee at his Trump Turnberry Resort surrounded by Eric, Don Jr and Ivanka in 2016.

Turnover at Trump Turnberry fell by more than 50 per cent in 2020 as it reported a hefty loss for the year.

“Ownership remains fully committed to the resort and future plans are set to enhance the resort further, maintaining Trump Turnberry as Scotland’s premier destination for luxury travel, championship golf and special events,” the company statement said.

It blamed Brexit – of which Donald Trump was a major supporter – for disruptions to supply chains.

The lack of drivers and staff had impacted product availability, and additional freight and airport duty charges had caused prices to increase, the company said.

In November, Scottish courts rejected a legal bid to force lawmakers to investigate Mr Trump’s purchase of his two prized golf resorts.

The country’s nation’s top prosecutor is weighing whether to pursue an investigation into how the former president paid for his Trump Turnberry course in 2014, and Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen eight years earlier.

Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s longtime chief financial officer, quit his role as director at Golf Recreation Scotland in October after being indicted on tax fraud, filings show.

He had earlier quit as a director of Trump International Scotland in July.

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