Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has blamed the SNP and Greens for the closure of The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh.

The MSP claimed Scottish Government ministers were “unleashing a rising tide of pressure for our culture and hospitality sectors.”

Last week, bosses at the club announced it was to shut after almost two decades. The decision followed the discovery of a leak at the venue in the capital’s Chambers Street.

They said they were already dealing with “a massive variety of issues and challenges to work through.”

READ MORE: Iconic Edinburgh venue Jazz Bar closes 'with heavy heart'

Mr Cole-Hamilton has tabled a motion urging the Scottish Government “to do everything in its power to support other cultural institutions like The Jazz Bar to allow them to continue operating.”

The Herald:

The Edinburgh Western MSP said the loss of the venue would “cut deep into the heart of the city’s cultural landscape while delivering a huge blow for all those in the music community.”

He said: “The SNP love to masquerade as advocates for Scottish culture, but, in reality, we have seen far too many cultural venues and initiatives, such as the Screen Machine and the Edinburgh Filmhouse, coming under increasing threat on their watch.

“By slashing the culture budget, cutting money from local government and failing to support businesses with the cost of living, SNP and Green ministers are unleashing a rising tide of pressure for our culture and hospitality sectors.

“I want to see the Scottish Government investing for the future to preserve Scotland’s proud musical, artistic and literary history, and working with the UK Government to help ease the strains on businesses struggling to stay afloat.

“If they do not, I worry we could see many more businesses facing the same fate as The Jazz Bar.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Beer and Pub Association said the closure of the Edinburgh venue was becoming a "familiar story across the country."

They added: "From the pandemic to the current cost-of-doing business crisis, the sector has borne the brunt of recent challenges and it’s impossible for some much-loved businesses to make it work any longer.

“The introduction of a business rates relief, similar to that in England would give some breathing space for some but we really need a longer-term solution to the disproportionate amount pubs and bars pay in rates.

"Similarly, a reduction to VAT would be give an immediate and lasting boost, kickstarting investment back into the sector.”

READ MORE: Musicians' sadness after Edinburgh Jazz Bar's sudden closure

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is acutely aware of the huge pressures facing businesses, with Brexit, Covid-19, the UK Government’s mini-Budget, and the cost of living crisis - including high energy prices - being key factors. 

"We continue to offer our support and backing to business within our limited devolved powers and resources.

“This financial year, Scotland will have the lowest non-domestic rate for properties worth up to £100,000, ensuring over 95% of non-domestic properties in Scotland are liable for a lower property tax rate than anywhere else in the UK.

"Scotland also has a package of reliefs worth an estimated £685 million including the UK’s most generous Small Business Bonus Scheme offering up to 100% relief to eligible properties.

“The Scottish Government has increased culture sector funding by £15.8m to almost £200 million this financial year, as the first step to achieving the First Minister’s commitment to invest at least £100m more annually in culture and the arts by 2028/29.”