Two funding schemes have been put in place to help Scotland’s credit unions continue to support those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

The Scottish Government has released details of the dedicated funds which will help to ensure the sector stays afloat and helps vulnerable people deal with the financial implications of the outbreak.

The Third Sector Resilience Fund and the dedicated Credit Union Resilience Loan Fund provide practical support of more than £20million to credit unions, many of which are already feeling the strain as members struggle to meet loan repayments.

Credit unions are often the only source of affordable loans for people in crisis situations.

Britain’s largest credit union trade body, the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) welcomed the funding packages and praised the joined-up response between the sector and the UK and Scottish Governments.

Robert Kelly, CEO of ABCUL, said: “ABCUL has hosted online conference sessions with credit unions from all over Britain to identify issues of emerging concern and ensure these are addressed and the business strengthened to deliver essential financial support to members and to staff.

“There have been tremendous examples of partnership working. The voices of our credit union leaders are being channelled to government in a robust and effective way and the response has been hugely encouraging thus far.”

The Credit Union Resilience Fund will offer interest-free loans of between £50,000 and £250,000, repayable over eight years.

While the Third Sector Resilience Fund provides grants up to £100,000, as well as interest-free loans starting from £50,000.