Mark Pawsey MP with Daniel Lengden, landlord of the Bulls Head in Brinklow (photo taken prior to social distancing restrictions)
More than 65,000 meals were claimed in Rugby and Bulkington thanks to the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, according to statistics revealed last week.
Overall more than 100 million meals were discounted across the UK under the scheme, which ran throughout the month of August to help support pubs and restaurants as the country recovers from coronavirus. In Rugby & Bulkington 74 restaurants signed up to the scheme, helping to kickstart the local economy with 65,000 meals discounted by an average of £5.83 per meal.
Both local MP Mark Pawsey and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the hospitality industry after the challenges of recent months. The scheme is credited with protecting 1.8 million jobs across the country, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year. Data available from OpenTable shows bookings increased by an average of 52 per cent on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the whole of August, compared to the same days in 2019.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is just one part of an overall Plan for Jobs the Government has unveiled, with a £30 billion strategy to protect and support jobs as the country recovers from the coronavirus outbreak. Backing the hospitality sector, which has been particularly badly impacted by coronavirus, is a key part of this strategy and it will be supported by a temporary discount to VAT, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, until 12 January 2021.
“I am delighted at the level of support residents in Rugby & Bulkington have provided to our brilliant restaurants and hospitality businesses. Eat Out to Help Out was always about far more than just giving people money off their meals. The scheme was about protecting jobs at businesses which have really struggled through coronavirus, and getting people back out safely as we begin to recover.”
“The figures we have seen show that this scheme has been a great success and without it I have no doubt that there are businesses in Rugby and Bulkington today which may have closed over the summer. The Government has brought forward an unprecedented package of measures to help protect, support and create jobs as we bounce back from coronavirus and will continue to do whatever it takes over the coming months.”