The impact of Covid-19 on the Arran economy

Arran is a unique part of North Ayrshire and is a strong island economy in Scotland with a successful hospitality sector. It performs well in terms of education and has strong tourism-facing industries.

However, like the rest of Scotland, it faces challenges. Both in the short and long term. The coronavirus outbreak represents the greatest public health crisis in a generation. Whilst the immediate health risk for the families impacted is the most important concern, the pandemic will have a significant and potentially long-lasting economic impact.

The ongoing pandemic has had an immediate impact on the economy however, there will likely be long-term implications, both in terms of the economic downturn to follow and the structural effect on the economy, which will shape the outlook for Arran. Arran’s dominant hospitality sector has meant that the immediate impact of Coronavirus has been stark.

The impact of reduced ferry passengers alone has been seriously damaging to the local economy. Due to the nature of this island economy, Arran is sensitive to the route map out of this crisis and the following economic recovery plan.


Adam is an Economist Fellow at the FAI who works closely with FAI partners and specialises in business analysis. Adam's research typically involves an assessment of business strategies and policies on economic, societal and environmental impacts. Adam also leads the FAI's quarterly Scottish Business Monitor.

Find out more about Adam.

Picture of Frank Brocek, assistant at the Fraser of Allander Institute
Frantisek Brocek

Frank graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2019 with a First-class BA (Hons) degree in Economics. He is currently studying on the Scottish Graduate Programme MSc in Economics at the University of Edinburgh.

He has experience from a variety of economic policy institutions including the European Commission in Brussels, the Slovak Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance.

Mairi is the Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government and has over a decade of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis.