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Wednesday 07 October 2020
by Jackie Emson

‘IT’S NOW OR NEVER!’ for pubs, bars and restaurants.

Warrington BID calls for urgent government support following the catastrophic impact of local restrictions which could call time on the sector. 

Warrington Business Improvement District (BID) has written to Warrington MPs, Charlotte Nichols and Andy Carter, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock and Chancellor, Rishi Sunak after restrictions introduced at the weekend brought the Warrington hospitality sector in the town centre into a virtual lock down which could see them go to the wall.

The new restrictions make it illegal for people from separate households in Warrington to meet within any indoor setting. In addition, it was recommended that people should not meet with anyone from outside their household in any outdoor setting. This comes on top of the rule of six and the 10pm curfew that came into place on 25 September.

Warrington BID Board Member Ian Fitzsimons (Acoustic Café) who represents the night time economy and Pubwatch says:

‘The impact has been immediate and catastrophic with takings down by 60-90% from the previous Saturday. Already a number of successful restaurants and bars have decided to close for the foreseeable future, whilst others are desperately seeking new ways to continue to trade.’

In the letter signed by Acting Chair, Emma Hutchinson (Culture Warrington) she explains:

‘The initial support package provided at the start of the pandemic was sufficient to enable businesses to survive the first wave of lockdown.

Unfortunately, the job retention scheme ends this month and the new job support scheme and the latest discretionary grants programmes will be inadequate to enable visitor economy and hospitality businesses to trade through the latest restrictions. This in turn will have broader implications for regeneration of the town centre, businesses within the supply chain and the local economy.

‘It is essential that there is targeted financial support for businesses impacted by extreme trading restrictions as a result of Government imposed measures such as those presently in place in Warrington, the Liverpool city region, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool. Decisive and immediate action is required. We need the UK government to listen and support businesses and people on the ground and engage properly with local authorities to provide targeted economic support.

‘We encourage the UK government to take heed of the representations made by the leaders of our biggest Northern conurbations. An emergency package of support is essential to enable our hospitality sector to sustain itself through this next economic shock and emerge in a position of relative strength in the post-COVID period.

Quite simply, for our hospitality sector and the wider visitor economy, it is now or never.’

Nick White, Warrington BID Manager has circulated a link from UK Hospitality to businesses, urging venues to join the lobby for support: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/WritetoyourMP

PHOTO: LEFT TO RIGHT, WARRINGTON PUBWATCH REPRESENTATIVE, JIMMY BANNISTER, (DEAD EYES) WARRINGTON BID NIGHT TIME ECONOMY REPRESENTATIVE, IAN FITZSIMONS (ACOUSTIC CAFÉ) AND WARRINGTON BID MANAGER, NICK WHITE

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