Rural pubs are at the heart of many Leicestershire communities – and those struggling during the pandemic are to be offered a helping hand this Christmas under an innovative new scheme.
Leicestershire County Council is offering a one-off payment of £1,000 to support small village pubs which are unable to open their doors over the festive period.
Launched today, the initiative – thought to be the only one of its kind in the country – is designed 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.
Pubs are often the beating heart of a small, rural community – and hospitality has taken a big hit during the pandemic.Person:Councillor Blake Pain, deputy leader, Leicestershire County Council
We’ve ploughed almost £3m into supporting community groups and small businesses – and want to go further. That’s why we’re doubling the money provided by the Government and offering £1,000 to help struggling rural pubs.
We recognise their plight – and want to do all we can to support them through these tough times. We’re hoping to start awarding money as early next week so I’d urge pubs which meet the criteria to get in touch
The scheme is 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, said: “We welcome Leicestershire County Council`s innovative approach to providing additional financial support for the county's small rural wet led pubs which will be unable to open over the festive period. Hats off to them for responding in our pubs’ hour of need.
“We have been calling on the Government to increase the £1,000 one off payment for pubs impacted by the tighter restrictions, highlighting that it is not enough to cover local pubs fixed costs let alone compensate for the loss of the business over the crucial Christmas and New Year trading period.
“I am pleased that Leicestershire County Council understands the vital social and economic role that local pubs play in their local communities and is willing to offer more support to help their rural pubs survive this bleakest of times and continue to warmly serve their communities in the future. I would encourage other County Councils to follow suit and Government to take note.”
Pubs need to be in a Leicestershire village able to show how they provide a vital community role.