Many local pubs and bars have suffered from the pandemic, some having to close permanently, but as lockdown restrictions ease and venues start to reopen, what is next for your local? 

From April 12th venues will be able to serve food and drink outside, with speculation that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme may return. However, venues without outdoor seating may continue to suffer.

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

The Wobbly Stool only opened in September 2019 so didn’t qualify for the self-employment income scheme.

“Because we only opened in September  2019 we didn’t qualify for the scheme, you had to be open for 3 years or have the tax records

“We don’t live on the premises so the government has had to meet our costs at home and at the bar, if we were open longer we would be better off.”

“We won’t be opening April the 12th we don’t have sufficient outside seating so we will be in the last phase of reopening.”

“I have had my vaccination, I hope we will be opening soon, 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. 

“First lockdown takeaway was good- running costs are too much to keep the beer cold to quantify us doing off-premises sales, we’ve not done that this time.” 

“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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