A BUSINESS support fund which ran dry in the Wee County within a week of opening is to be doubled.

The Local Authority Discretionary Fund, which offers one-off payments of £2,000 for small and micro businesses, is again being doubled by the Scottish Government.

It comes after the pot of money, known as the Clackmannanshire Discretionary Fund in the Wee County, ran dry within a working week of opening for applications.

MSP Keith Brown welcomed the announcement.

He said: "This fund, originally at £30million, has now been increased to £120million.

"I know that in Clackmannanshire, like in other council areas across the country, the Discretionary Fund has been fully subscribed and, indeed, was closed to new applications on Friday, so this significant additional injection of support will be very welcome indeed.

"Although this fund is financed by the Scottish Government, it is administered by local authorities.

"Funds will be issued at their discretion and they will assess which businesses have not received support until now and are most in need."

As reported last week, the Wee County local authority received £155,309 for the fund, which was enough to provide 77 £2,000 grants before applications were closed.

The short amount of time between the fund opening and the announcement that it was oversubscribed raised concerns for opposition MSP Alexander Stewart.

He said at the time: "The longer our businesses have to wait for critical funding only risks more jobs and livelihoods."

Mr Brown added last week: "The Discretionary Fund is aimed at businesses that have not qualified for other streams of support but new statistics show that three more sector-specific funds – the Strategic Framework Business Fund, the hospitality, leisure and retail top up payments and the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund – have paid out a total of £244million, in January alone, including £4.7million paid to taxi and private hire drivers in the first 10 days of claims.

"These are really hard times indeed for businesses across so many sectors, but I am pleased to see the Scottish Government doing as much as it possibly can to help as many different businesses as possible."