UK beauty brand Pure Spa & Beauty has reopened its doors in Edinburgh for the first time since lockdown.

Staff at the group’s head office in the Scottish capital said preparations for the reopening have been extensive.

More than £3,000 has been spent on a mixture of safety measures and getting the business ready for reopening.

The brand has introduced a full new safety protocol including that all therapists will be following social distancing rules, wear the appropriate PPE and each treatment room and station touchpoint will be sanitised after each appointment.

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The group will now operate a virtual reception team across all its sites as they begin to reopen.

As well as a new Pure Rose Street salon, located above the brand's flagship retail store, Pure Beauty Zone, will be opened on Friday July 31 to serve customers in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The 2,000 sq ft site - a previous office space for the brand - is equipped with a modern nail bar, pedicure area and brow bar as well as three treatment rooms for all services including massage and facials.

Pure Spa & Beauty opened its first salon on Lothian Road in 2002. During lockdown it upgraded to accommodate the demand from a growing customer database.

Pure Spa Lothian Road now has a new floor level, with two new treatment rooms, one large enough to accommodate two beds.

Becky Woodhouse, founder and chief executive, said: "Reopening has been a lot of work for the entire team.

“The majority of our staff are on furlough so internal communication has been challenging but our loyal customers have been exceptionally supportive. It’s vital that when our guests return they can relax and feel safe – that’s what Pure spa experience is all about.

“We continue to await the UK Government's announcements for further steps that will allow our business to operate as fully as possible. Safety and hygiene has always been a very big part of our industry."

In addition to extending its presence in Edinburgh, Pure has outlets in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, London and Peterborough.

The company has opened six new locations since 2018 with further expansions for 2020/21 in the pipeline. 

From the initial salon in Lothian Road, Edinburgh, the company now employs over 200 staff across 15 locations, and aims to add a further five.

Scotland's hotel industry has been given £14 million in an effort to secure jobs until next year.

The Hotel Recovery Programme, announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes at the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, will allow eligible businesses to apply for £250,000 in grants, which she said will support up to 3,000 jobs.

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It will also offer "wraparound support" for businesses to ensure resilience during and in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Forbes said of the fund: "Its core purpose will be to protect larger hotels, which have been badly effected by the events of the recent months.

"This is also about looking forward and successful applicants will be offered wraparound support to help strengthen their companies for the future."

The fund will be open for expressions of interest by the end of next month, Ms Forbes said.

A further £1 million in grants will be handed out by VisitScotland to self-catering businesses that are ineligible for other types of Scottish Government support, the Finance Secretary said.

The grants will be given in one-off £10,000 payments to help businesses get through the winter season.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: "This will be very much welcomed by eligible hotels and self-caterers across Scotland who have faced struggles to access support funds previously. This new support will help to secure some jobs in the sector that have come under serious threat of being lost, for the time being.

"However, while this support will be appreciated by these businesses, concerns remain that ongoing costs coupled with low demand continue to place tourism and hospitality jobs at severe risk. Getting those sectors who support our bars, cafes and restaurants back to work in the safe environments they have created is critical if we are to save jobs and livelihoods."

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: "Today’s announcement will be extremely welcome news, particularly for the hotels eligible for this support, many of which will have been unable to access grant funding to date.

"The programme will go some way in helping to secure many of the hotel jobs in the short to medium term which would most likely otherwise be lost.

"The £14m pot of cash whilst sizeable is however limited and there won’t be enough to support all the hotels that are in need of immediate financial support to help them survive, recover and maintain their previous staffing levels."

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality executive director for Scotland, said the £14m programme "is a positive sign of intent, but it is going to be a drop in the ocean for the sector".

He said: "The reality is that any programme of recovery intended to keep hotels in Scotland open and staff in jobs, will need to be much bigger and much more wide-ranging. It must be hoped that this is an initial step in supporting these businesses and that further resources will be made available in the likely event that the programme is over-subscribed."

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has said it expects to complete 40% fewer homes in 2020, after plunging to a £40 million loss for the first half of the year.

Shares in the company slid on Wednesday morning after the company told investors the pandemic has had a "significant impact" on construction work and completions.

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It slid to a £39.8 million pre-tax loss for the six months to June 28, from a £299.8 million profit in the same period last year.

Taylor Wimpey closed its construction sites and sales offices amid the coronavirus pandemic in March.

It said the site closures weighed on home completions, which fell by 57.6% to 2,771 properties for the half-year.

In the nine weeks since its sales centres reopened in England, it said its sales rate has significantly improved while appointment bookings have jumped 206%.

But it expects completions to be 40% lower in 2020 as some expected for the end of the year will now be finished in the first quarter of 2021, which could also have an impact on completions in 2021.

The company said demand has "remained robust" in recent months and mortgage finance has continued to be available, despite wider uncertainty.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: "I am pleased with Taylor Wimpey's performance during a very challenging time and am proud of the resilience, principled approach and agility that our teams have shown.

"Our performance for the first half of 2020 has been impacted by the closing of our sites and sales centres but we have now reopened all sites successfully and safely and have returned to a sustainable level of sales and build.

"Looking ahead, balance sheet strength, a long order book and our high-quality and growing landbank gives us confidence in our ability to navigate the challenges and emerge stronger from the pandemic.

"While uncertainties remain, we are confident in the underlying fundamentals of the housing market."

Shares in the company slipped by 6.6% to 124.1p at one stage.

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