Leicestershire County Council has announced it is offering a one-off payment of £1,000 to support small village pubs which are unable to open due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The council said the initiative has been designed to keep people in jobs, maintain the role of the pub as a community hub and help businesses to “diversify” by providing extra services for residents.
It has now pumped more than £3m into supporting community groups and small businesses already and will go one step further and double the money provided by the government.
The scheme is backed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which represents around 20,000 pubs across the UK.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, 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.”
She added: “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.”