Almost 200 rural pubs have applied to Leicestershire County Council for a special one-off £1,000 payment

The authority is offering the cash help to small pubs across Harborough as well as the county unable to open their doors during the coronavirus pandemic

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 9:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 9:57 am
Almost 200 rural pubs have applied to Leicestershire County Council for a special one-off 1,000 payment.
Almost 200 rural pubs have applied to Leicestershire County Council for a special one-off 1,000 payment.

Almost 200 rural pubs have applied to Leicestershire County Council for a special one-off £1,000 payment.

The authority is offering the cash help to small pubs across Harborough as well as the county unable to open their doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

And since the initiative was launched on December 18, some 180 landlords have applied for it.

Many of those applications have already got the go-ahead, with cheques being sent out to over 90 premises so far.

The scheme aims to keep people in jobs, maintain the role of the pub as a community hub and help them to diversify by providing extra services for residents.

Cllr Blake Pain, deputy county council leader, said: “I am delighted that so many landlords have come forward and we have been able to help these rural pubs which are vital hubs for villages.

“We know that the hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic and we felt it was important that they received our help.

“These remain difficult times and we will continue to offer support to our communities and small businesses.”

Martin Wilson, landlord at The Plough Inn at Stathern, near Melton Mowbray, for 13 years, said: “This funding scheme is vital for us so we can eventually open our doors, continue to trade and to support our community that we consider to be our family.

“We host a number of societies including the British Legion, Horticultural and WI to name a few.

“The Plough Inn has continued to support the community by providing takeaways throughout all lockdowns and delivering to the elderly so they have some hot food.

“Through this scheme we can also continue to provide this service which we consider vital to our surrounding community.”

The blueprint is being backed by major trade body, the British Beer and Pub Association, which represents around 20,000 of the country’s pubs.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “I applaud Leicester County Council for delivering their additional financial support for rural pubs at such speed.

“Rest assured their innovative approach has provided a vital lifeline to local pubs who have been hanging by a thread.

“Other county councils and the Government should follow the leadership displayed by Leicester County Council in saving our pubs.”