Trump at the Turnberry golf course.
AP Photo/Scott Heppell
- Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts claimed millions in pandemic support from the UK government.
- Both Trump Turnberry and Trump International Scotland recorded losses in the millions in 2020.
- Company accounts signed by Eric Trump cite Brexit as a contributing factor to the resorts’ struggles.
Former President Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts claimed more than $4 million in UK emergency money as the struggling businesses furloughed hundreds of staff members amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newly-published company accounts for the two international resorts revealed the Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire and Trump International Scotland near Aberdeenshire cut 273 jobs in 2020, while also claiming $3.7 million in furlough support.
Trump relinquished control of both resorts to his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, shortly before he was inaugurated as president in 2017 but kept financial interest in the businesses, both of which are owned by holding company Golf Recreation Scotland, Ltd.
Additional government data reviewed by The Guardian shows both resorts made further financial claims this year as the UK government’s emergency job retention scheme persisted.
The BBC was the first to report the resorts’ additional 2021 claims, which are reportedly worth between $698,000 and $1.7 million, adding to a total between $4.4 million and $5.5 million in furlough support over two years. The new figures have not been included in the Trump companies’ most recent accounts, according to The Guardian.
Trump Turnberry recorded a loss of more than $4 million in 2020 while the Aberdeenshire resort reported a loss of $1.7 million. Filings for both resorts cited the government lockdown, which required the businesses to be closed for multiple months in 2020 and into 2021, as reason for significant staff losses.
However, in the accounts filed by Golf Recreation Scotland Ltd. and signed by director Eric Trump, he also cited Brexit as a contributing factor to the resorts’ failing finances, according to The Independent.
“Brexit has also impacted our business as supply chains have been impacted by availability of drivers and staff, reducing deliveries and availability of certain product lines,” The Independent reported.
The documents go on to claim increased prices due to freight and import duty charges following the Brexit vote, as well as a reduced staff availability because of wage inflation, have negatively impacted the resorts.
During his presidential campaigning and into his presidency, Trump was a vocal supporter of Brexit, which saw the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union in 2016. The former president nicknamed himself “Mr. Brexit” in a 2016 tweet and celebrated the Brits, who he said “took back their country” at an appearance in Turnberry in 2016.
The company accounts, filed earlier this month, also suggested that both golf resorts owe additional money to Trump himself in loans from the former president’s personal funds and the holding company to Turnberry and Trump International Scotland, totalling more than $158 million, according to The Guardian.
A representative for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, nor did a spokesperson with Trump Turnberry or Trump International Scotland.
Trump opened the Aberdeenshire location in 2012 and bought the Turnberry resort in 2014. The former president is said to be particularly proud of his mother’s Scottish heritage.
Last month, a group of human rights lawyers lost their bid to force the Scottish government to probe how the former president paid for his two golf courses in the country. The advocacy group Avaaz brought the case after the Scottish government declined to probe an unexplained-wealth order against Trump.