Salford pubs without beer gardens or other outdoor space are missing out on the first phase of lockdown easing.

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From April 12, bars can re-open but customers have to stay outside.

Natalie, owner of The Wobbly Stool, Swinton says: “We won’t be opening April 12. We don’t have sufficient outside seating so we will be in the last phase of reopening.”

To make matters worse, the Wobbly Stool only opened in September 2019 so didn’t qualify for the self-employment income scheme.

She said:  “I hope we will be opening soon. I can’t wait to welcome people back.

“Things have been difficult.”

In the first lockdown, many venues were able to sell take-away beers and food, enabling them to still earn money.

Natalie said: “Going forward we are positive people are ready for a pint after lockdown.”

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Many local venues are continuing to struggle through the pandemic, the government are pledging a Community Ownership Fund, which is set to help local venues through communities bidding to save pubs. 

Communities can bid for a £250k cash match scheme to save pubs, and can bid up to £1 million in exceptional circumstances. This will enable community groups to take over pubs.    

The average loss has been between £1,000,000 and £5,000,000 for venues since the start of lockdown and in 2020 alone, there were an estimated 2,500  permanent pub closures due to Coronavirus.

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