Government announces major boost to tourism and hospitality businesses across Northumberland

The Chancellor has announced a much-needed boost for tourism and hospitality businesses in Northumberland, as part of his Summer Economic Update to kickstart the economy post-coronavirus.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s measures will see VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attraction businesses cut from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for six months. The move is designed to support the sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, helping businesses to recover and boosting the number of jobs across the country. Up to 1780 businesses could stand to benefit from the measures in Northumberland. 

The council’s portfolio holder for Economic Regeneration, Richard Wearmouth, has also urged local people to eat out to help out, following the announcement that the Government will pay for up to 50 per cent of people’s meals out at restaurants, pubs and cafes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will entitle everyone to a discount of up to 50 per cent on their meal, up to a maximum of £10 per person. Businesses can claim the money back from the Government, which will be paid in five working days. Up to 1010 businesses in Northumberland could benefit from the move. 

Taken together, these measures will provide a timely and much-needed boost to the tourism and hospitality industries in the county, forming a key part of the Government’s plan for jobs – supporting people to find jobs, creating new jobs and protecting jobs in hard-hit sectors. 

Commenting, Cllr Wearmouth said:

“We should not underestimate how difficult recent months have been for many businesses in Northumberland. Now that the virus is coming under control, we must turn our attention to creating and protecting jobs. 

“I hope that everyone across the county will answer the call to Eat Out to Help Out. This fantastic new voucher scheme, along with the cut in VAT, is the much-needed lifeline many businesses have been calling for.

“Our plan for jobs will turn our national recovery into millions of stories of personal renewal – as the Conservatives continue to stand squarely behind people, businesses and our economy.”